Fine motor skills for toddlers involve the use of the small muscles of the hands, fingers and thumbs to do such tasks as grasping, pinching, twisting and pulling. These skills are necessary for daily living activities such as holding a cup, using utensils and dressing oneself. Toddlers and preschoolers need to practice these skills to develop strength and ability and fine motor skills toys for toddlers are especially designed to encourage this
Shape sorters is a super toy for fine motor skills for toddlers. Not only does the child practice twisting and turning the shapes in order to fit into the appropriate hole, he may also be learning the names of shapes, color recognition, patience and determination. One of the best fine motor toys for toddlers is jumbo sized stringing beads. The child needs to hold the string in one hand while stringing the bead with the other hand. This involves grasping, threading and eye hand coordination. Again there are many other benefits to this toy such as color recognition and early math skills of matching, sorting and sequencing.
Construction sets are excellent fine motor skills toys for preschoolers. For instance a jumbo sized nuts and bolts kit requires the child to use both hands, one to grasp the bolt and the other to twist the nut into place. This requires great dexterity and practice to accomplish. Interlocking bricks and pegboards are also good for developing fine motor skills.
For the older preschooler, child sized safety scissors provide the opportunity to learn to cut, which is a difficult fine motor skill. Large sized tweezers are also brilliant to develop eye hand coordination and strength.
Any activity that encourages a toddler or preschooler to practice fine motor skills and coordination is excellent for the child. It is important to encourage the little one to use cutlery and learn to button a shirt or pull up a zipper. The advantage of providing quality fine motor skills toys for toddlers and preschoolers is that the toys are designed for that particular developmental level. They have pieces that are the right size for little hands. The pieces fit smoothly together so that they are not frustrating. The toys provide additional learning opportunities such as color and shape recognition. They are attractive to the child and will hold his or her attention for a good period of time. And very importantly they are fun to use and so the child is playing and learning at the same time.
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