Many of our activities lately have had a focus on challenging the twins fine motor skills. This is one of the areas we have identified as a delay in development for Ruby so i have been trying to provide some focused activities to complement her early intervention with the specialists.
All children develop their fine motor skills at different rates and this isn't something you need to ‘teach' a younger toddler….but providing fun opportunities for them to practice their emerging skills is a valuable gift. These activities don't need to be time consuming or difficult to prepare and clean up. Simple is best for this age i have found…remember their attention spans are still quite short so a few easy activities are much more rewarding to both parent and toddler than any fancy ones you might spend ages preparing!!
I like to try and use common materials found around the home and yard or brought cheaply from the budget shops. What i am trying to do with these activities is encourage the toddler twosome's hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness (understanding size and how things fit into and out of other things and spaces) and palm and finger grasps (how a child holds the brush,pen, crayon etc and controls its movements) By providing opportunities to enhance the development of these skills it will also help the toddler twosome begin to manipulate the tricky parts of their clothing and shoes, play meaningfully with smaller items such as teasets with lids and cutlery, small figurines and blocks and generally interact with the ‘smaller' items in their world…all while having fun through play!
There are many variations on fine motor activities such as threading, cutting, pasting and painting for the older toddler….but often the younger (18mths- 2yrs)toddler is overlooked so i thought i would make a list of the toddler twosome's favourite fine motor activities so far. If looking for some inspiration for your own toddler…just remember that all children develop at different paces and therefore you may need to modify some of the activities for your child's skill level.
If an activity is not a great success the first time around…try it again in a few weeks and they may surprise you!! Above all….just have some fun just exploring your regular everyday play….if they are using their hand, finger and wrist muscles (no matter what the activity)…they are developing their fine motor skills…EASY!
1. Nature Fun Playdough …playdough provides many fine motor opportunities and this playdough activity outside with twigs and beans was a lot of fun…and so easy…all while outdoors in the winter sunshine!
2. Easy Toddler Threading…..this was a variation on more difficult threading activities and both girls modified the activity to suit their interest and developmental level….threading items with larger holes allows for independance and achievment rather than the frustration of trying to thread smaller items.
Threading onto ribbon required some different skills and was a little more challenging due to the angle and having to both thread and pull through.
3. Cotton Bud Painting is a fantastic fine motor activity and so easy to set out…kept the toddler twosome busy for a long time with lots of pincer grip practise!
4. Drawing with Chalk….whether inside on a small board or outside on a larger board those hand and wrist muscles are getting a workout! By having the board on a wall or on a table or floor you also vary the angle of the drawing and therefore the muscles used.
5. Painting with Shaving Brushes is a great way to build a toddler's confidence with using paintbrushes. They are chubby and short and therefore fit neatly and easily into little toddler hands!
6. Block Play offers many opportunities to explore and enhance fine motor skills just by varying the block sizes and introducing different materials to pick up and add to the play.
7. Spice Jar Posting…this remains Ruby's absolute favourite and is such a great posting and spatial awareness activity. I love it when i can find ways to recycle jars to!
8.Sponge Painting….another easy favourite….by offering lots of different sized sponges with paint there are many ways to explore with the hands….squeeze,dab, pinch, pat…..
9. Pebble & Basket Fun ….giving toddlers small items to pick up and put in and out of baskets is always going to be a winner and is a favourite in this household!!
10. Vegetable Seed Planting…..getting out into the garden provides many opportunities for toddlers to explore and use their hand muscles….poking, digging, picking, pouring……..
11. Sticky Paper Collage…I'm sure you have seen this one before…..i love this activity because it takes just minutes to set up and they come back to it over and over throughout the day…with little mess involved! Vary the size of the pieces to collage and you add to the fun!
12. Squeeze Bottle Painting…this is one for outside or forget the paint dye and just use water! Little hands love to squeeze and tip and twist and try to turn lids!
13. Pom Poms, Pasta & Jar Fun…another wonderful in and out activity…this one keeps the twins busy for quite awhile and we play variations of this activity regularly.
Happy Whimsical Hearts says
Such a great list of activities Jode! I particularly like painting with the shaving brush and the spice jar posting ~ I am going to try these out with Little Miss Q. And interestingly, as I was reading through I could relate each of these activities to how the kids play… but such fun to try different ways out!!
andie jaye says
i love the threading on cut tp rolls. you’ve got some great activities here!
JDaniel4's Mom says
What great ideas! I love all the fun ways to paint.
Fantastic list! Your house is far more fun than mine!!! If I lived closer, I’d be casually dropping my girls off for a day here and a day there…just to play… 😉 I’m very impressed xx
Jaime Williams says
Hey, stopping over from kbn/kid co-op. Love your post. These are such great activities for the kids. We have done a few but look forward to trying some new ones out. thanks for sharing- Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Thanks for dropping by to comment Jaime…glad you were able to discover a couple of new ones!
Michelle@ Learning to Be a Mom says
These look so fun. I added a bunch of them to my list of activities to do this month. Thanks for sharing so many great ideas.
Thanks for stopping by Michelle…i am so glad you were able to find a few of the ideas useful! I hope you have fun with them!
Jamie Hammond says
Another amazing post!! You gave me some great ideas to do with my own girls. Thank you!
Amy @ Z is for Zel says
These are all great ideas. I featured the spice jar activity on my Kid’s Co-op Post. Thanks for linking up!
Thanks so much Amy….appreciate you stopping by and also featuring!!x
Multiples Mom says
These are great ideas. Please stop by and add a link to this post on Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3. If you miss it today, it will happen again next week. Today is the first of what will be a weekly linky featuring posts about arts, crafts and play activities. You can link as many arts, crafts and play posts as you would like. I hope to see you there.
: 0 ) Theresa
P.S. I also do a Multiples Monday linky every Monday for posts featuring multiples (twins or more)
So fun. THanks.
Tim, Allyson, and kids says
I love all of your ideas. I had never thought to use shaving brushes to paint with, but they do seem perfect for little hands.
I’d love for you to link up to our Finished Friday blog party.
Jamie of The Unlikely Homeschool says
I am one of the co-hosts of the Weekly Kid’s Co-op. I will be featuring this post on my TOP 3 for tomorrow’s link-up.
Jennifer Fischer says
What a great list. These are the types of activities I love – simple activities that can be done with stuff I already have. I will also be featuring this as one of my top picks for tomorrow as well.
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Marta Mart says
Such an easy ideas! Love them all! We regularly have messy play dates on our playgroup and I must use them next week! Thanks!
WE LOVED THE TUBE LACING WITH RIBBON! THANKS.
That’s great to hear – it’s a fun one isn’t it and so easy!! Thanks for the feedback x