Toys for Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills involve the muscles in the hands, eyes, face and mouth. These are the muscles that will enable your toddler to someday focus her eyes on a line of print, write her name or hit a ball with a bat. During the first year, your baby learned to focus her eyes, began to use or mouth and lips to control the sounds she made and started reaching for objects she wanted. She may even have figured out how to pick up small bits of food between her thumb and forefingers. During the second year, your toddler continues to develop these skills. She gets better at using the fingers on both her hands to pick up small objects. She improves her hand-eye coordination so much, that by the end of the second year, she can perform “self-help” skills such as bringing a spoonful of food up to her mouth.
Fine motor skills are learned through practice. If you don’t believe it, try brushing your teeth with the hand you don’t usually use or reverse the jobs your hands do when tying shoelaces. Hard, isn’t it?
Many of the following toys such as shape sorters, nesting blocks, snap-together beads and lacing cards give your child a number of opportunities to practice using her fine motor skills. Dropping blocks into a bowl, removing the lids from margarine containers, threading a piece of rope through small sections in paper towel tubes or eating finger food are also great ways to learn.