Skip to content
Educational Toys - How to Develop Your Baby's Fine Motor Skills

Educational Toys - How to Develop Your Baby's Fine Motor Skills

What are Fine Motor Skills? 

Fine motor skills require the use of small muscles, such as those in the hands, fingers and thumbs. These are the skills required to grasp small objects, write, draw and fasten clothing. You can help your baby develop fine motor skills easily by practising every day in your usual routines. Your baby can pick up small foods with her fingers at mealtimes, scoop and pour water out of containers at bath time, and string colourful beads on a string at playtime. Before you know it, your baby will be able to complete more complex tasks like zipping up clothes, use eating utensils, and form letters with a pencil.

How can you help your baby develop fine motor skills through play?


  • Encourage your baby to reach and grasp for things like your fingers, rattles or soft toys.
  • Try giving your baby toys that make sounds, and shake or rattle them to encourage her to hold them.
  • When your baby is on her tummy, put toys just out of her reach so she can reach and grasp them.
  • When your baby is sitting on your lap, give your baby toys to hold on to with her hands.
Tikiri Organic Baby Bear with Muslin Tikiri My First Zoo Rubber Teether & Rattle - Hippo

6-12 Months:

  • During mealtimes, give your baby small items such as raisins or small crackers and watch her use her pincher grip.
  • Try giving your baby objects that she can move and stack.
  • During bath time, give your baby containers to scoop with and pour water out of. This can also work outside, scooping and pouring sand in a sandpit.
  • Objects like building blocks will help your baby practice banging together.
  • Teach your baby to clap her hands and wave bye-bye!
Happy Planet Toys Recycled Octo-Buoy Stacking Bath Cups Green Toys Stacker

Further Reading: How To Help Develop Baby's Hand Eye Coordination

12-18 months:

  • During mealtimes, give your baby her own spoon to feed herself with.
  • Make homemade play dough and have fun squeezing and rolling with your baby.
  • When dressing or undressing your baby, allow her to take off an easy article of clothing such as her sock or hat, and put it back on again.
  • Stringing colourful beads or stacking wooden pieces on a wooden post are wonderful ways for your baby to develop fine motor skills.
  • When choosing puzzles, look for chunky wooden puzzles with knobs on them to make it easy for your baby to grasp.
  • Shape toys that need to be pulled, twisted and pushed through holes are great for your baby’s fine motor skills development.
  • In the kitchen, show your baby how to stir in bowls with wooden spoons and bang saucepan lids together.
Im Toy 6 in 1 Triangular Kids Activity Centre Sassi Junior Pull and Play Book - Hey I Can Count

Further Reading: How To Help Develop Baby's Mathematical Skills

18 months to 2 years:

  • During story time with your baby, let her turn the pages by herself.
  • Give your baby crayons to colour with and show her how to draw different shapes. Let her try master fine motor skills by creating shapes on her own.
  • Encourage your baby to help get herself dressed.
  • Provide your baby with open boxes with lids to take on and off, or drawers to open and close.
  • Encourage your baby to wash and dry her hands herself.
Honeysticks Beeswax Crayons 12 Pack - Originals Wee Gallery Stroller Cards - I See Bugs To Count

2-3 Years:

  • Use child safe scissors and let your child cut shapes out of paper.
  • Give your child a peg board and let her put round and square pegs into holes.
  • Lacing and threading activities are great practice for your baby’s fine motor skills.
  • Make snack time fun by providing ways for your child to prepare her own snack such as taking lids off of containers and using a child-friendly knife for cutting soft foods.
  • Make music together with instruments like keyboards, xylophones or drums that use your child’s hands.
Janod Confetti Musical Set Plan Toys Geo Lacing Beads

Further Reading: How To Help Develop Baby's Gross Motor Skills

3 years and older:

  • Your child will enjoy activities involving lacing, buttoning, strapping velcro straps and latches on a doll or activity board.
  • Let your child hold books during story time and turn the pages herself.
  • Tool sets allow your child to create and assemble objects using nuts, wrenches, screws and screwdrivers that are just perfect size for her small hands.
  • Allow your child to practice balance by pouring water in to a cup or carrying a container full of liquid across the room without spilling.
  • Build structures such as towers or bridges and assemble tracks and roads.
Everearth Large Workbench with Tools - Pastel PlanToys Tie Up Shoe

Where to buy Fine Motor toys?

Hello Charlie has a great range of toys to help baby develop fine motor skills. Australia wide shipping, same day despatch when you order before 10am.

Previous article Starting School The Easy Healthy Way