Fine motor skills involve using the small muscles in one’s hands, wrists, and fingers to make precise movements. Your child needs their fine motor skill when they do activities such as coloring, drawing, eating, and playing.
Fine motor movements include grasping, holding, pinching, pushing, and pulling. Luckily, there are many toys for preschool-aged kids that can help with developing these skills. Nurture your little one’s confidence and independence with these three simple toys that build your child’s fine motor skills.
1. Grasp Crayons
Coloring with crayons is one of the most fun ways for children to become better at grasping. At about 12 months of age, a child might start grasping crayons with their whole fist.
At the beginning stage, children use their whole arms to move the crayon. You can let your little one lie on their belly to color so that they rely more on their wrist and hand to move the crayon.
Over time, they will develop the skills to move the crayon with only their hand rather than their whole arm. By the age of five or six, children can hold and write with a pencil using only their thumb, index, and middle fingers.
2. Hold a Stuffed Animal
Another simple toy that develops your child’s fine motor skills is a stuffed animal. Your child’s fingers will sink easily into the plush toy as they hold it. And the toy’s soft fur entices the child to stroke and squeeze the animal.
To encourage your child to bring the toy around, choose a stuffed animal that’s a comfortable size and weight. Your little one will have fun holding, grasping, pinching, pulling, and pushing the toy as they go on adventures together. And unlike other toys or activities, kids will likely interact with a beloved stuffed toy many times throughout the day rather than in one session.
3. Pinch Play-Doh
Finally, one of the best ways for your child to build coordination and strength is by manipulating Play-Doh. With Play-Doh, your child will pinch, pull, twist, and more.
If you notice your child is having a difficult time making their own creations, give them smaller pieces of Play-Doh. Your child relies on hand-eye coordination to mold Play-Doh into different shapes. As a bonus, when your child sees the connection between their actions and changes in the Play-Doh, they form new ideas and a deeper understanding of the world.