Fine motor skills open new doors to your child’s exploration, learning and creative expression. But, refining those skills becomes a challenge for all new parents. Take the help of these toys and witness the difference!
Hand skills are an essential part of a child’s development as they allow the child to interact with their environment and gain important self-help skills such as dressing, picking up objects and feeding themselves. To support these activities, we must provide our kids with the “right” products, so that they can improve upon their skills quickly.
Among so many wonderful and exciting products available, making the right choice has become a task. When my son began to explore his surroundings, I looked at several options and read numerous reviews before making a choice.
Here are some of the best products that are not only my son’s favorites, but have helped him master the skills to perform several activities as he grows.
1. Stacking and Sorting Toys
Stacking and sorting toys are a great choice, not only for developing fine motor skills but also for mental and critical thinking. The colors are eye-catching, the shapes are great and my son would always grab, grasp and try to position these toys in his little hands.
The Fisher Price Stacking Ring is the first toy that introduced my son to colors. It helped build hand-eye coordination as he grasped and stacked the rings and played a vital role in building memory and thinking.
The Fisher Price Shapes Sorter was a favorite and watching my son try to fit the shapes, the excitement of getting it right and wanting to do it over and over again, made me purchase several more different sorters.
The Funskool Stacking Barrels although similar to the products above, have several additional benefits. The drums are firm, slightly difficult to open and require physical strength to pull them apart. It was interesting to watch my son as he tried to identify patterns, stack them according to shape (or as he wanted to). These products are good choices as first toys and playing with them repeatedly, helped develop the tiny finger and hand skills.
Building blocks are the perfect choice that encourage both creativity and critical thinking. I chose Mega Bloks because they are big, bright-colored blocks, and quite safe as they fo not contain small parts that can be swallowed.
In addition to building fine and gross motor skills like grasping, connecting and pulling apart the blocks, Mega Bloks ABC spell helped my son identify the alphabets. It comes in a handy bag and can be carried anywhere. The Mega bloks are priced slightly higher than most of the other toys and I could only tell the difference in quality when I purchased a lesser priced block set, that did not last long.
3. Peg Puzzles
Puzzles are great for building critical thinking and problem solving skills. If you’ve ever wondered how to get your child interested and involved, then begin with peg puzzles. Each piece comes with an attached peg that will teach your child to grasp and understand patterns. There are several options and my son’s two favorites are the Shapes Peg Puzzle and Animals Peg Puzzle. These are great for hand-eye coordination and imaginative play.
4. Water Toys
Bath time is fun time and the best way to get your child to love and eagerly await bath time is playing with toys. The animal -shaped Bath Toys that I purchased have not only helped with fine motor skills but have introduced my son to different actions like squeezing and squirting water from these toys.
In addition to the recommendations above, do ensure that you keep the following in mind when selecting products to develop your child’s skills.
- Go for products that are free of choking hazards
- Most of the toys mentioned here are good choices to encourage independent play. However, supervision is a must.
What more! It’s extremely important for you to be patient, encouraging, and supportive of your child’s efforts. Whatever he masters today will stand him in good stead once he starts more formal learning in kindergarten and beyond.