As noted last time, children can have lots of fun building fine motor skills. Here are more of our favorite skill-building activities:

  • LegosPlaying puzzles with your child. Start with wooden puzzles that provide a frame for each piece. For toddlers choose puzzles with pictures that show where each piece belongs. As your child’s skill develops, move to large floor puzzles, then more challenging jigsaw puzzles with increasingly smaller pieces.
  • Children can spend hours playing with Legos which come in graduated sizes to accommodate changing skill levels.
  • Fingerpainting encourages finger manipulation and control. If you’re painting indoors, slip an old t-shirt or apron over your child to protect his clothing and use newspaper to protect your table. On hot summer days, take the mess outside. Tape large sheets of paper to the driveway and let the kids get messy. When children tire of painting, herd them into the kiddie pool for some water play – and no fuss clean up!
  • Water play offers many opportunities for fine motor development. Give children plastic eye droppers and colored water and ask them to fill a small cup. Nesting cups, watering cans, funnels and measuring spoons make great water toys.
  • A sandbox is a great place to practice scooping, pouring, funneling and digging.
  • Playboy is marvelous for squeezing, cutting, rolling and stamping. Purchase Playdoh sets or use cookie cutters. Older children can graduate to modeling clay and Sculpey which allows you to bake and preserve their creations.

Horizon Education Centers offer summer camp programs for toddler, preschool and school-age children that put the emphasis on fun while building skills.