Toys for Developing Fine Motor Skills

Toys for Developing Fine Motor Skills

Early childhood is an important time to develop fine motor skills. By strengthening the muscles in their fingers and hands, young children can learn how to improve their coordination and control. This helps them with everyday tasks such as holding a pencil with a good grip, writing legibly, tying their shoes, buttoning clothes, and much more. Luckily, there are many toys out there that are plenty of fun, in addition to being helpful for development. Below is a letter to Santa with some great toy ideas from Corrinne O’Neil, an Occupational Therapy Student:

Dear Santa,

I am sending you this letter to let you know what toys I would like to help me develop my fine motor skills, visual perceptual skills, bilateral coordination skills, and gross motor skills. I am so excited to see what Santa will bring this year!

Fine Motor Development

  • Ants in My Pants for finger isolation
  • Don’t Spill the Beans for improving grasping skills
  • Play-Doh games for strengthening and small muscle development
  • Peg Puzzles for improving grasp
  • Bed Bugs Game for small muscle development
  • Operation for small muscle development and motor control
  • Lite Brite for dynamic finger development, visual perception, strengthening, and grasping
  • Mr. Potato Head for hand strengthening, dynamic finger movements, and body awareness

Visual and Perceptual

  • Interlocking puzzles for visual-spatial relations and form constancy
  • Shape Sorters for visual-spatial relations, and shape identification
  • Matching games for visual memory, and form constancy

Bilateral Coordination

  • Legos for strengthening and coordination
  • Stringing beads for fine motor and coordination
  • Bristle Buddies for fine motor, strengthening, and coordination

Gross Motor Skills

  • Mini Trampoline for gross motor and lower body strengthening, balance, and coordination
  • Scooter for motor planning, and balance
  • Tricycle/Bicycle for motor planning, bilateral coordination
  • Play tunnel for bilateral coordination, strengthening, and motor planning
  • A bowling game for eye-hand coordination, and visual perception
  • Go Ape for body awareness and motor planning
  • Twister for body awareness, flexibility, and motor planning

Thank You,
Corrinne O’Neil, MS, OTR/L
Southeastern Therapy for Kids in Kempsville, VA

P.S. I have been very good and I hope you have me on your “nice” list!

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