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Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers

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If you're looking for fine motor activities for toddlers then we have a huge collection of ideas for you! It's amazing how quickly your toddler's fine motor skills will improve with these fun and easy crafts and activities.

Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers

Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers

Fine motor skills and fine motor activities are words you'll hear a lot from educators and I've often been asked in our Facebook group about why we put such a focus on this area.

The experts in this area are ocuptational therapists and that's not a qualification that I hold, however in my role as an early childhood teacher this is an area that we focus a lot on.

Lately  I (along with my colleagues) have seen an increase in the amount of children who struggle to hold a pencil, use scissors and perform basic fine motor skills that you would expect when they start school.  This article from ABC News discusses this same issue.

Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers

What do we mean by fine motor skills?

Fine motor skills are skills that require the use of the smaller muscles of the hands. Gross motor skills are the larger movements (like throwing and catching) whereas fine motor skills include pinching, grasping, holding a pencil, buttoning their clothes, using scissors etc.  Like any other skill, this is something that needs to be repeated and practiced.

How can I help my toddler improve their fine motor skills?

The good part about fine motor skills is that it is fun and easy to add more of them to your toddler's day! Some easy ways to improve fine motor activities are:

Playdough - manipulating the play dough uses lots of the smaller muscles in the fingers and hands.  You don't have to make your own - this set is always great value and will last for months.
playdough 24 pack amazon

Drawing and coloring - start early with these great toddler crayons and work up to smaller ones.

Encourage the use of scissors - so many children get to kindergarten and have never used scissors. A pair of toddler safe ones like these is a great place to start. Using scissors is a tricky skill that takes a lot of practice and I encourage you to start sooner rather than later.

Do crafts! Crafts naturally incorporate cutting, gluing and drawing which are all great fine motor skills.

Threading or lacing items - start with larger items like cut up toilet roll holders or pool noodles and work your way down to smaller items like beads. One of the best threading toys we bought were these.  We started by using pipe cleaners as they were easier to thread. This set was great for building and stacking games too.

Sensory Play - there are so many ways that sensory play and sensory bins help with fine motor. You can find a huge collection of sensory bins HERE.  One of my favorite fine motor sets is this one and is perfect for sensory bins and sensory play. You can get this set HERE on Amazon and it's cheap! fine motor set toddler sensory binOk, let's get started on our activities! I'd love for you to share some pics in our Facebook group or over on Instagram (use #MyBoredToddler )

Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers

Pasta Threaded Straws 

pasta threading with straws

There are a lot of skills that go into threading. The rigid form of these straws makes this activity a great introduction to threading. Without the challenge of holding the straw in place, threading the pasta is much easier and a great confidence booster for beginners! See the full pasta threading activity HERE. 

Wrapping & Unwrapping Toys 

Make building up those all-important fine motor skills fun with this easy to set up and inexpensive activity! See how to set up the activity HERE. 

Wrapping & Unwrapping Toys

Toilet Roll Haircuts 

Crazy hair, loads of emotions and lots of bright colours make this activity fun and engaging fine motor activity for your toddler. Make use of those empty toilet rolls lurking in your recyclables and turn them into Crazy Hair Toilet Tubes!

Toilet Roll Haircuts

Fine Motor Pick & Pull 

This activity literally takes just minutes to put together and is always a success at our place! Such a simple fine motor activity idea! See how to set up your pick & pull HERE. 

Fine Motor Pick & Pull 

Pom Pom Whisk Activity

This toddler activity ticks so many boxes. It’s sensory, involves problem solving skills, cause and effect, logical thinking and even involves some all-important, fine motor skill development. Setting up is a breeze and can be done within minutes. See how we played with the pom pom whisk HERE. 

Pom Pom Whisk Activity

Pom Pom Rescue 

Tongs are great for building fine motor strength, dexterity and hand eye coordination. It only takes a few minutes to set up this Sensory Pom Pom Rescue – a fun fine motor sensory tray. See how to set up your pom pom rescue activity HERE. 

Pom Pom Rescue 

Sensory Salt Drawing 

This sensory writing activity is a great pre-writing fine motor activity idea - if you don't use salt you can do the same activity with sand or rice. See how to make your sensory salt tray HERE. 

Sensory Salt Drawing 

More Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers 

Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers

Gadgets and Gears Fine Motor Play

Hearts Fine Motor Practice - Simple Fun for Kids

Zig Zag Fine Motor Sensory Play - Best Toys 4 Toddlers

Fine Motor Play with Recyclables - Teach Me Mommy

hands-on ideas for fine motor practice

Montessori Inspired Window Washing Activity - Stir the Wonder

Straws and Spools Fine Motor Activity

Fine Motor Skills with Crazy Straws - Powerful Mothering

Matchstick Colour Drop - The Imagination Tree

Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers

Fine Motor Play with Flip Top Lids

Felt Button Snake - Apple Green Cottage

DIY Sensory Board Ideas - Extremely Good Parenting with Kara Carrero

Visual Motor Color Match - The OT Toolbox

 finger and hand workout for toddlers

Toddler Fine Motor Activity - Pom Poms and Containers

Simple Outdoor Waving Loom - The Inspired Treehouse

Button Color Sorting Activity - Schooling a Monkey

Cotton Bud Play - Adventures and Play

Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers

Postman Pat. A Shoebox and Jar Lid Play - Emma Owl

Play Dough Spaghetti and Cheerios Fine Motor Activity

Rainbow Waving Art - The Typical Mom

Pipe Cleaners and Straws - Beauty through Imperfection

Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers

5 Tray Play Ideas with Mother Goose - The Keeper of the Memories

Fine Motor Button Tree - The Train Drivers Wife

Simple DIY Colour Sorting and Fine Motor Activity - Learn with Play at Home

Fine Motor Toy - Color Matching Flowers - Moms and Crafters

play based fine motor activities for toddlers

Dropper Painting for Kids - Laughing Kids Learn

Pom Pom Drop - Crafty Kids at Home

Cotton Ball Rainbow - Fireflies and Mud Pies

Fine Motor Octopus - Buggy and Buddy

Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers

Snowy Owls - Red Ted Art

Felt Cat Themed Button Snake - Uno Zwei Tutu

Montessori Inspired Toddler Play - Mama Smiles

Monster Clips - Hands On As We Grow

Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers

Sensory Activity with Pinecones in the Sandbox - Preschool Toolkit

Pinted Dry Beans Mosaic - Twittchetts

Pom Pom Color Matching Game - Raising Little Superheroes

Craft Foam Window Puzzle - Frogs and Fairies

Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers

Pumpkin Washing Station - Natural Beach Living

Paper Roll Tube and Ribbon Threading Busy Bag - 3 Princesses and 1 Dude

Colored Waterfalls - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Water Bead Pick Up Game - Play and Learn Every Day

fine motor playtime ideas for toddlers

Plastic Egg Fine Motor Activity - Something 2 Offer

Simple Clothspin Activity - School Time Snippets

Pounding Practice - What Do We Do All Day

Cap Twist-off Board - Happy Toddler Playtime


I hope your toddler enjoyed these toddler fine motor activities. Make sure you share your photos in our Facebook Group and over on Instagram. Use #MyBoredToddler and tag @myboredtoddler so we can all see!

Some more activities you might enjoy are:

Sensory Bins for Toddlers 

Sensory Bins for Toddlers

Dinosaur Activities for Toddlers 

dinosaur activities for toddlers 2 and 3 year olds

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