Simple Activities To Help Improve Fine Motor Skills

Why are fine motor skills so important? A lot of times we think about working on fine motor skills so that we can write, but there is so much more to it.

 I think we (me included) take for granted the many things we do every day with our hands. Think of all the things you wouldn’t be able to do if you weren’t able to use your hands. Some of these things include buttoning your shirt, zipping your jacket, tying your shoes, putting makeup on, starting your car, opening packages, picking up something off the ground, putting money in your wallet, opening a jar, doing your hair, turning pages in a book, etc., etc., etc.

So how do we work on fine motor skills with kids? Through play of course. There are many factors to consider as we help kids with fine motor skills. Some of these include finger isolation, in-hand manipulation, crossing midline, pincer grasp, eye-hand coordination, and bilateral coordination.

For this post, I wanted to share some of my favorite toys that will help strengthen fine motor skills.  I’m always looking for new toys so if you have any favorite toys, I’d love to hear about them! Send me a message or make a comment below.

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Pop Up Pirate

  • fine motor strength-pushing in the swords
  • pincer grasp-use fingers to push in swords
  • bilateral coordination-hold the barrel with one hand while pushing sword in with other hand
  • in-hand manipulation-have your child hold multiple swords with one hand
  • eye-hand coordination-putting the sword in the slot
  • crossing midline-place the swords on one side of the child, and have them reach for it with the opposite hand
  • turn taking
  • color recognition
  • counting

Avalanche Fruit Stand

  • fine motor strength-opening and closing tweezers
  • pincer grasp-holding the tweezers with fingers instead of in a fist
  • eye-hand coordination-using tweezers to pick the fruit
  • crossing midline-have a bowl on the opposite side of the child. After they pick the fruit, have them reach over and put the fruit in the bowl
  • finger isolation-have them spin the spinner with a different finger
  • turn taking
  • color recognition
  • counting
  • fruit identification

Toy Vet Play Set

  • pincer grasp-holding the keys in fingers
  • bilateral coordination-holding the set steady while turning the key
  • eye-hand coordination-putting the key in the door, turning, and opening the door
  • pretend play
  • color matching-the keys match the color of the doors

Design and Drill

  • fine motor strength-using the screwdriver rather than the drill
  • eye-hand coordination-putting the drill into the screw
  • in-hand manipulation-gathering screws with one hand
  • pincer grasp-putting the screws in the holes
  • bilateral coordination-holding the screw initially to put the drill in
  • color recognition
  • pretend play
  • creativity

Classic Wooden Blocks

  • fine motor strength-building and balancing
  • bilateral coordination-using both hands to build
  • eye-hand coordination-getting blocks to balance, and deciding where to put each block
  • pincer grasp-grasping blocks with fingers
  • crossing midline-having blocks spread out, so there are opportunities to reach across the body to get a block
  • pretend play
  • motor planning

Wooden Latch Board

  • fine motor strength-opening and closing locks
  • bilateral coordination-holding puzzle with one hand, and unlocking locks with the other
  • pincer grasp-using fingers to hold the locks
  • eye-hand coordination-putting some of the locks in the holes


  • Any stickers will do, but I really like these reusable stickers. There’s a lot of different options to choose from.
  • pincer grasp-taking the stickers off
  • eye-hand coordination-putting the stickers on the page
  • bilateral coordination-holding the paper with one hand, and getting the sticker off with the other

Scribble Scrubbie

  • Just fyi, these don’t always come clean, but they are fun!
  • fine motor strength-drawing on the animals, scrubbing the animals, pressing the button on the tub to make the water come out
  • pincer grasp-coloring with the marker
  • bilateral coordination-holding the animal in one hand, and drawing with the other
  • eye-hand coordination-pushing the button on the tub to make the water come out, while bathing the animal at the same time
  • pretend play

For more toy ideas visit my post with my favorite toys for preschoolers.

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