A key part of your child’s future independence is their being able to do things like tie their shoes, zipper their pants, hold a pencil, use scissors, and so on. All of these tasks are related to fine motor skills—which are put quite simply, the coordination of small muscles usually in one’s hands and fingers. And like any muscle, those in your hands and fingers can be taught to work in a way that may not come as naturally to your little learner.
But practicing these fine motor skills don’t need to be a chore—in fact, it can be all fun and games with the right art tools and playdate-worthy products. Sensory-friendly chalk, ergonomic crayons, balancing blocks, and more are all great opportunities for your child to amp up how comfortable they are gripping, pulling, and even twisting—all things that will help them with academic and self-care tasks moving forward. Remember, even a little practice will go a long way with these top 9 toys for fine motor skills. Keep reading to see why.
The sensation of chalk in your hands can be uncomfortable when you have sensory issues. That’s just one reason why Jaq Jaq Bird created your favorite bright colorful chalk with easy-to-grip holders that eliminate residue on fingers (they’re also 100 percent dust-free).
And if your tiny is also a picky eater, Jaq Jaq has created a chalk-friendly place mat. Children can draw funny faces and incorporate their food to make meal time more fun. For a challenge, have your child practice flipping the chalk from one end to another in their fingers—just one tool that will come in handy for switching from writing to erasing in school.
In this fun game children are encouraged to stack the colored “branches” and balance the birds on top—whoever does so first “wins.” Although technically geared toward younger children, it will delight kids of all ages and help them focus on the “pincer grip” they’ll need for writing.
These cool ice cream “pops” work as a matching game where your tiny one places the right numbered cap onto the stick with the corresponding amount of dots. Not only will they practice counting, it also teaches finger dexterity as your child pops the caps on and off.
Kids can hone their gripping skills with this game in which they use a magnetic stylus to “push” magnetic balls into matching color-coded garages. Advanced players can spin a roundabout and move road blocks for more practice with dexterity along the way.