Fine motor activities are crucial to our homeschool routine. With all of the technology available around us today, I make it a point to provide activities for my toddler where he can work on his pincer grasp and on working those tiny muscles in his fingers and not just using his index finger on the tablet. Because let’s be real – my toddler, just like many others out there, gets screen time. We limit it, restrict it, but it happens. The key in my home is to provide a balance!
I have set up a lot of activities that specifically target fine motor development since we started homeschooling. These activities are prepping my son for writing (developing a proper pencil grasp), using scissors, and also to carryout various practical activities such as using a spoon properly, buttoning his shirts, zipping his coats, and even tying his shoe laces later on. The trays I present for my toddler prepare him (two years old) for doing these tasks later on.
Here is a look at several fine motor activities for toddlers! The awesome thing with these activities is that you probably already have these items around your home! They require little set up and are very easy to replicate! Aaaand some even have a pinch of Halloween inspiration behind them. I just love holidays!
Fine motor activities for toddlers
Beading, lacing, and threading
Mr. Toddler has been loving anything beading related. I like to provide these types of activities in a variety of ways, but am conscious of keeping the cost down. I can get really carried away with buying homeschool supplies, and want to keep my son interested in our activities. To keep Mr Toddler interested in our manipulatives, I present activities that work on certain categories, such as beading or threading, using items we have around the home already:
Beads and pipe cleaners
He needed a lot of patience and really worked on some hand eye coordination while doing this!
Penne pasta and yarn
Since taking the plunge with paleo, the need to buy pasta has declined, but I’ve been loving using up various pantry items that we no longer need for our school activities! Activities such as beading pasta on strings of yarn are great for fine motor development!
Penne pasta and pipe cleaners
I love buttons. They’re cheap and a perfect manipulative for homeschool. Picking these up in and of itself is great fine motor practice for little ones. These specific ideas can also help to work those hand muscles!
Transferring pom poms
I love clothes pins works. As long as the weather is decent around here, I always dry our clothing outdoors and love that my son is starting to show an interest in helping (practical life skill). The other aspect of this is that learning how to open and close a clothespin is perfect for developing fine motor skills!
Dropping stuff in water bottles
I really like how easy these are to set up. I started presenting works like this for Mr. Toddler back in the day before he was even a year old. Now that he’s BIG (Two), I like to present them as colour sorting works. I kept the colours fall themed because it’s fall and we’re working on primary colours now!
I presented a few strips of orange paper and some ‘Halloween’ coloured paper clips. Getting the clips onto the paper can be hard work for little hands, and requires loads of concentration!
To make it harder, you can add a colour matching element by providing strips of paper that correspond to the colours of the clips.
Make a shape!
I made this very quick shape printable, got out some fall coloured/Halloween coloured pipe cleaners and we got to work making shapes! Have I mentioned how much I love cheap and easy homeschool activities? Oh, right, only a thousand times!
Pipe cleaner drop
We recently got a lovely birthday package from my mom and grandma with birthday gifts. I love re-using and recycling and definitely saved the box for it’s homeschool potential. I poked some holes in it, got some pipe cleaners, and viola: a fine motor activity
To add another element to this, you can make it a colour matching activity by coloring around the holes or adding stickers. Ask your child to drop the corresponding coloured pipe cleaners into each hole!
Straws and pipe cleaners
It’s hard work to coordinate getting the pipe cleaners into straws. It can be a tight fit, and it’s great for hand eye coordination and fine motor practice. Bonus: it’s yet another colour sorting work!
Spooning beans (or another manipulative) into a muffin tin is great for fine motor control, hand eye coordination, and is also a perfect practical life activity. You could use a number of basic spooning materials for this like: Pom poms, beans, ice cubes, etc.
For this work, I added some ‘creepy crawlies’ to our beans for an added element of interest for my toddler.
For more toddler activities, please be sure to visit my toddler activities page! For even more inspiration, be sure to checkout my fine motor activities pinterest board.
Thanks for stopping by!