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Top Ten Toys for Developing Fine Motor Skills in Young Children - August 7, 2009

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Top Ten Toys for Developing Fine Motor Skills in Young Children

By: Honey Denson

NB: This article is written for the parents of children who have need for Motor Skills Therapy. We publish it here because we know that therapists also use toys daily in their therapy.

Reprinted with the express permission of Honey Denson as originally published on the Website.

There are many conditions that can cause fine motor delays. One thing that you might notice during therapy is your child’s occupational therapist using a lot of toys. They are using a concept called play therapy. Using play therapy makes it more fun for the child because they are usually doing activities that they enjoy. You can also take some of the play therapies that the therapist is using and incorporate them into your child’s normal play at home. Here are some great toys that can help you to do this.

  1. Shape Sorter. Buy a colorful shape sorter with shapes that are easy for your child to handle. You can also use it to teach the name of the shapes and colors. To use it, start by teaching your child using a hand over hand technique until your child is able to do it by himself.
  2. Stringing Beads and other string toys. You can find these types of toys in most toy stores and online. Make sure that they strings have no frays and you might want to buy some extra strong shoelaces to use if the ends of the strings start to wear out. Again use that hand over hand technique until your child is able to do it on her own.
  3. Play Dough. This is one of the best Occupational Therapy tools. You can have your child roll it, poke it and cut shapes out using cookie cutters. You can buy play dough or make your own.
  4. Books. Books usually aren’t though of as a fine motor skill tool, but they are the best out there. You child can help you to turn the pages and you can ask your child to point out specific things in the pictures to help with pointing skills. Touch and feel books are especially good because it involves more of your child’s senses.
  5. Blocks. These are good for stacking and throwing down. Buy colorful blocks so that you can teach colors at the same time.
  6. Puzzles. Choose wooden puzzles with pieces that have knobs that make it easier for the child to pick up and place back in. You can get puzzles to teach shapes, colors, animals, letters, numbers or a variety of things while you work on the fine motor skills.
  7. Pop up toys. These are toys that you can turn a knob or press a button and a surprise for the child will pop up. Children love these and it helps them learn cause and effect as well as improving on fine motor.
  8. Hammer toys. Buy a hammer toy like the Discover Toys Hammer Away boat. The child takes a toy hammer and has to hammer an object like a ball through a hole.
  9. Peg Boards. Peg boards help children learn to place small objects in holes. It works on their grasping skills and hand eye coordination.
  10. Pop Beads. This old, popular toy again helps with hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. They are also an ideal toy to take in the car or while waiting in the doctor’s office.

Featured Author: Honey Denson

Honey Denson is the mother of three, two of whom have special needs. She is a former English teacher turned early intervention teacher and loves to write in her spare time.

Tags: OT Parental Involvement Fine Motor Skills August 2009 Newsletter Article