Choosing Fine Motor Activities and Toys

Are you worried that your toddler or preschooler is going to be able to write “on time”?  Well, you’re probably worrying about nothing!  If you’re providing lots of play opportunities, reading daily, and limiting screen time, your kiddo is most likely right on track.  But just in case, I’ve put together this Fine Motor Activities How To.  It tells you how to choose toys and activities that develop fine motor skills in small children.  That’s the first and most important part of being able to write.  Plus, they’re all developmentally appropriate, and fun!

Choosing Toys

When you choose fine motor toys for your kids, make sure they have at least one of these features:  Push, Twist, Pinch or Pull!   Provide a variety, as each of those skills works those little fingers in different ways.  Here are a few examples.


These pegs by Lauri are a great option for the Push feature.  Plus, they have a lovely smooth feel that’s appealing to kids.




These Wooden Nuts and Bolts are a great option for twisting.  I love that they aren’t plastic!



All of my felt sets require kids to pinch the pieces to pick them up and move them around.  My Build a ______ sets are particularly good for this skill, as the point is to build, take apart, and rebuild in a whole new way.



Try a stringing toy like these Melissa and Doug beads.  Wood again, naturally 🙂


Choosing Activities:

Hopefully you use play dough regularly, and have either a sensory table, a water table, or both in your home or classroom!  Be thoughtful when you choose materials to use with these amazingly wonderful sensory experiences.  Tools that have snap on or twist on lids require the kids to PUSH and TWIST.  Provide scoops of varying sizes with varying lengths and widths of handles.  Containers with wide or narrow openings force the fingers to maneuver in different ways.  Provide funnels and bottles with different sized openings as well.  If you haven’t seen them yet, here’s a link to my play dough recipe, and this blog post on sensory tables might be helpful as well!

Ready to get your kids pinching?  Check out my Build a __________ sets now.