Designed for tiny hands to reach for, grab, pull, and twist, this Wooden Bead Rattle by Manhattan Toys improves hand-eye coordination and motor skill development.
With interesting textures, patterns and sounds, these Rainbow Stacking Rings are perfect for helping baby develop dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
Pop Blocs Farm Animals by Melissa & Doug come with 10 mix-and-match pieces to build a horse, cow, pig, sheep and hen. The linkable pieces are great for problem solving and fine motor skills. The bonus is all the adorable animal sounds that will be practiced as well.
Grab it, 'skwish' it, toss it around. This classic Wooden Grasping Rattle has been around for over 30 years because of it’s ability to fascinate and delight little ones.
When it comes to baby rattles this Montessori Baby Rattle is as classic as it gets. Sealed with Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, it doubles as a sound making rattle and a soothing teether.
Jumbo Nuts and Bolts are the perfect toy to practice those fine motor skills and improve hand-eye coordination with all the screwing and unscrewing. The set also introduces colors, shapes and the concepts of matching and sorting.
Lacing toys are excellent for encouraging fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, plus they are generally small enough to throw into a diaper bag so baby can be entertained wherever you may be. There are tons of variations on the classic, but we especially love this apple, this twin peaks mountain and this little sailboat.
The “buttons” in this Button Art Pegboard are big making it easy for little ones to hold, pick up, match and snap to one of the corresponding colors on each picture. Not only will fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination get a workout, your little one will also strengthen visual perception skills, pincer grasp, visual motor coordination, pattern making, color sorting, matching & more!
This Basic Life Skills Buckle Toy helps toddlers develop fine motor skills, cognitive skills, hand eye coordination, and problem solving through the use of different buckles attached to a brightly colored plushy.
Magnetic Wooden Block Set: With magnets hidden within traditional wooden blocks, Tegu block sets take building to a new level, making the impossible, possible. The resistance of the magnets exercises fine motor skills while also encouraging imagination and innovation. Whip these out at a restaurant and watch a fussy, impatient baby, turn into an engaged, quiet baby.
Squigz by Fat Brain Toys (below) are my new favorite things and this “Pip” version is perfect for little “pip-squeaks.” Made of high quality silicone (read: dishwasher safe) these toys feature different textures, colors, sounds and suction cups that stick to everything, including each other. Once the suction cup attaches to a smooth surface, the toy can be tugged, pushed, shaken or pulled, exercising and strengthening muscles in the fingers and hands.
Stack, topple, spin, balance, wobble, tilt, wiggle, and roll. This Tobbles Stacker has bright colors, grippable textures and playful curves that are perfect for fine motor skills and problem solving.
This fine motor tool set includes tweezers, a scooper, a dropper and a grabber, all of which are designed to strengthen the hand muscles needed for writing. Pair these with items you have around your home (beans, craft pom poms, beads, etc) to create an invitation to play that will keep them engaged and entertained.
Montessori is all about self-correcting toys and puzzles that encourage mastery and therefore boost self-esteem. The Wooden Cylinder Socket Pack is a perfect example of this. The 4 puzzles each have 5 different cylinders, all of varying thicknesses and lengths. Children will enjoy “solving” the puzzle over and over again.
Legos (below) are excellent for fine motor, but at 2 years old, most children will find the tiny size difficult to manage, which is why Lego Duplo is perfect. The larger size allows children to build using their imagination while all that attaching and unattaching strengthens muscles in the hands and fingers.
This Habba Town Maze is excellent for fine motor dexterity, visual spatial skills, counting and color-learning. Kids slide the magnetic wand over the plastic cover to guide the spheres along the intersecting tracks, but watch out! - some of the roadways are blocked.
Get ready to sort, count, stack and match your little heart out with this Skoolzy Peg Board Set. The oversized pegs are easy for little hands & fingers to grasp and stack on the peg boards and each other making it a great fine motor activity for kids that also improves hand-eye coordination and visual perception skills.
Play-Doh is an excellent material to use when wanting to strength little fingers and hands. Think about it: all that pressing, smooshing, rolling, shaping, squishing and squeezing has muscles, and imaginations, working overtime. If you want to get extra fancy, add a set of tools like these for even more fun.
Wooden blocks are as traditional as it gets and there’s a reason they remain a classic toy. Inspiring children to build, stack, and design, playing with blocks also helps develop fine- and gross-motor skills, problem solving and more.
These Skoolzy Eggs may be egg shaped, but that certainly doesn’t mean they are only meant for the Easter Bunny. Perfect for learning colors and shapes while also improving hand dexterity, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, these self-correcting puzzles are great for entertaining kids at home, on-the-go and for a working time-out activity.
At 3 years old, most kids are itching to give the crayons a break and get their hands on a pen or a pencil. They see older siblings and mom and dad writing all the time and they are ready to try their hand at the art as well. Enter this Wipe Clean: Pen Control book. Use it at home or on the road, to allow children to practice their grasp and master tracing and pen control skills which will eventually lead to the ability to form letters and numbers before learning to write.
Brightly colored beads and laces make for a simple, yet effective tool for fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
This Latches Activity Board was my son’s favorite when he was little. Made using a variety of locks that hook, snap, click and slide, the board is great for fine motor skills and also reinforces counting and number recognition.
This Scissor Skills Activity Pad includes plastic safety scissors and pre-printed activity pages featuring mazes, puzzles, animal art, sequencing activities and more.
Kid 0’s magnatabs are exceptional learning tools that provide sensory-reinforced lessons allowing children to process information through their eyes, ears and fingertips. With a magnetic “stylus”, children follow the directional arrows on the board to pull up the beads and shape numbers, lowercase letters, uppercase letters and cursive letters. The self-contain beads remain upright until pushed back down, or erased, by your finger. Muscles in the fingers and hands get a workout both in shaping the numbers/letters and in “erasing” them while children work on number and letter recognition and formation. These boards are a favorite in our house both during learning and play times and for working time-outs.
Remember those pipSquigz I was talking about earlier for the 1 year olds? This Squigz set is perfect for the bigger kid. With the ability to connect to each other and to any solid, non-porous surface, these smaller Squigz are fun to stick everywhere. But what kids love even more is pulling them apart to separate them. It takes some work (read: lots of hand and finger muscles) but the POP they make when they release will delight kids over and over again.
At 4 or 5 years old, most kids will begin to look for the more traditional Legos rather than the Duple version. Getting Legos to stick and taking them apart may take some practice to begin with, but all that exercising of their hands and fingers will have prepared them for this big day.
MathLink Cubes are traditionally used for counting and learning math (and you will definitely use them for that) but they are also great for fine motor skills as they link together on all sides. Plus with the shape cutouts on the side you can also use them for complex patterning activities.
You may be wondering how the classic game of Operation ended up on a Fine Motor Toys Gift Guide. Well, let me remind you. Remember those teeny tiny tweezers trying to extract those teeny tiny “ailments” and that annoying buzzer that constantly went off, vibrating the exam table, whenever you touched the side? All of that is what makes it an excellent toy for working on fine motor skills. Plus, if your child does manage to extract an ailment without activating the buzzer then they collect a set amount of money, meaning that math skills can be learned and money concepts can be discussed as well.
Tegu’s wooden blocks pouch was included up top for the one year olds because it is the perfect block starter kit for little ones and fits easily into a diaper bag, but Tegu’s expansion packs are featured here for the older kids because smaller pieces mean more fine motor skills. Tegu’s blocks are different from the rest because of the tiny magnets they have hidden within them. This takes building to a new level as it makes the impossible, possible. And with wheels included in the packs, stationary items can transform into racing items (vroom, vroom).
Jenga is another game that you don’t often associate with fine motor skills but it takes a steady hand and quiet a bit of hand-eye coordination to remove and replace pieces without making that tower topple. Plus there is something about knocking a tower over that always seems to make kids giggle.
Gift Guide created by Paiges of Gray