10 Activities to Build Fine Motor Skills in Toddlers

Simple at home Activities to Build Fine Motor Skills 


Fine motor skills are small movements that use the small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips, and tongue. Even if your child isn’t showing signs of delays with fine motor activities by incorporating them into your child’s day will only benefit them.  When children have a delay in the development of their fine motor muscles they have difficulty manipulating small objects, holding a pencil, and performing certain tasks. Therefore here are some easy, cheap activities to build fine motor skills.



A child picking up a ball, puzzles on the floor and large legos are used to help build fine motor skills in toddlers
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Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do to help your child build their fine motor skills. The best things to use are things that you already have. When building up those hand muscles you want to have fun in the process.  I have done all these activities both working with my students or with my own children.  Here is a list of some activities you could do with minimal supplies.  Most of these supplies can be found at dollar stores. Remember to think outside of the box and use anything you have.




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I discuss dozens of activities all the time in my parenting facebook group.  I would love to have you join the group.  Join the Facebook group here.


10 Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers



A toddler playing with a chunky puzzle is a great way to build fine motor skills in toddlers
Chunky Puzzle

*Puzzles—Puzzles come in large formats with handheld pieces to small interlocking pieces.  Here is a picture of a chunky puzzle Children need to use their whole hand to pick up these pieces.  The chunky puzzles are perfect for small hands.  Start with the large individual pieces and keep moving forward as your child’s abilities improve.


A boy sitting on the floor putting pipe cleaners into a strainer is a way to build fine motor skills in toddlers

           A child and a toddler putting pipe cleaners into a upside down strainer is a way to build fine motor skills in toddlers.









*Pipe Cleaners—Put Pipe cleaners in a colander.  Turn the colander upside down and put the pipe cleaners through so they are popping out.  Then turn the colander over and thread the pipe cleaners on the inside.  This is harder because they have to cross over other pipe cleaners and put into two holes instead of one.  Kids love that it’s silly and colorful.

Pipe cleaners or straws could also be put into a Parmesan container.  The top of a Parmesan container has two opening.  One is the large opening which makes it easier to put the pipe cleaners into.  The second has 3 small holes which require more control of the pipe cleaner.  Two simple and easy activities.



A child in a red shirt picking up pom poms to put into an egg carton is a simple way to build fine motor skills in toddlers

*Pom-poms—Pom-poms are small in size and excellent to work on the pincer grip (using your thumb and pointer finger).  With pom-poms, you can pick them up and put into a bowl.  Then pick up pom-poms and put into ice cube trays.  To help teach colors you can have your child separate the pom-poms into the matching colored bowls.



Child pulling stickers off his arm is a creative way to build fine motor skills in toddlers


*Stickers—Oh the magic of stickers. Start by putting stickers on clothes.  It’s easy to take them off.  Make a game with your kids where you put the stickers.  You can work on body parts using the stickers.  “Take the sticker off your arm.”  It’s fun and the kids love it. While your child peels the sticker off their arm they are crossing mid-line (crossing over the middle of their bodies to get something with the opposite hand).  This is an important skill to practice.  Have your child peel stickers off the page they came on.  This practices precise motion.


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Build Fine Motor Skills



Child taking dinosaur magnets off the fridge is an at home way to build fine motor skills in toddlers


     *Magnets—Magnets are a great way for your little one to stay close to you the kitchen and have fun at the same time.  Magnets come in different shapes including animals, letters, shapes, and puzzles.  You can find magnets in just about anything you want.




A child trying to pull painters tape off the floor is an exciting way to build fine motor skills in toddlers
Pulling up Painters tape

*Painters Tape—Stick tape to the floor or the counter and have your toddler peel it off.



*Legos—Mega Legos are great toys for a 1-2-year-old.  They are big enough for their little hands to pick up.  Legos grow with your child’s abilities.




Child playing with ice cubes in a tray is a fun way to build fine motor skills in toddlers


*Ice Cubes—Put ice cubes in a tray and let your toddler grab and pick it up.  As long as they play on a clean surface it’s no big deal if they put the ice cube in their mouths (which they probably will).



Three containers of colored buttons that are sorted. Sorting buttons is a simple fine motor activity for toddlers to do at home

*Buttons—First, get a bag of colorful buttons and they can sort into ice cube trays, muffin tins or a container.  Secondly, you can put numbers or colors on the bottom of the muffin tin or trays and have your child sort the buttons to get the correct number.



A child stacking blocks is a simple way to build fine motor skills in children

*Blocks—Get blocks and start stacking.  Stacking is the basis for building with blocks.  If you don’t have blocks get pool noodles.  Pool noodles can be cut up and used as blocks.  They are a great alternative.



I discuss dozens of activities all the time in my parenting facebook group.  I would love to have you join the group.  Join the Facebook group here.



There are tons of toys that work on building fine motor skills.  Though we will discuss toys another time.  These are some suggestions that you can do at home without spending a ton.  I know that most of these items are already in your home.



Pile of large legos. Legos help to build fine motor skills in toddlers.
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Please add your ideas and things you do at home to help build fine motor skills.  I’d love to hear your suggestions.





This is one of my favorite toys for fine motor.

“Do your kids have this? It’s a terrific toy for any toddler. I use one for work and just a few weeks ago my son got one for his birthday. I put this bank on his wish list hoping he would get it. I’m a huge fan of toys that teach multiple skills. That’s when I feel the toy is truly worth it and valuable for children. This definitely does that. Unlike other toys that want the child to put something in, this is not difficult. The coin can be turned either way so there’s no confusion for the child. That’s an important feature when I look for toys.

I drive to children’s houses and work with them in their home. I need toys that have multiple functions as I bring all the toys to the house. This toy is something I’ve used for years. It’s now updated and even better.

This Piggy bank is more than just cute. It sings songs, counts, and works on fine motor skills all at the same time. As my son puts the coins in I say the colors. This has 2 different levels that teach different skills. The coins are the perfect size for little hands.

Get this for your toddler or as a gift for a toddler in your life.



No idea how to entertain your toddler? Looking for more ideas for things to do at home?  Get dozens of fun learning activities for your toddler here.  Click below to get your Toddler Enrichment Ebook today. 

Toddler Enrichment Ebook. Help your child learn while maintaining your sanity.



PS. If you liked this post be sure to get more Fine Motor Activities that you can do at home here.


  1. I don’t have kids so I can’t say this is something I’ve ever given much thought to but I would never think playing with something as basic as an ice cube or button was so good for their motor skills! I guess it helps that their little minds are so naturally inquisitive x


  2. Sarah says:

    We’ve done a lot of these activities, especially the puzzles, blocks, stickers, and magnets. I’ll have to give the ice cubes and the painters tape a try too. Love how simple and inexpensive these ideas are!

    1. ExploreKidTalk says:

      Thank you. I wanted to give ideas that people can do at home without having to spend much money. Let me know how it goes!

  3. Jennifer says:

    My son loves buttons and pom poms for sorting. He also loves playing with cars on top of blocks. We make tons of roads and towers that are driven on for hours before the blocks must be smashed.

    1. ExploreKidTalk says:

      Yes, knocking down the blocks is always more fun than stacking them up. I love it!

  4. tracey says:

    Fin mottor skills are always good to build up and its so easy. We used lots of tools and began with cherrios .

  5. Pipe cleaners in a colander?!!! Oh my goodness so simple but so so smart!! *mind blown* I know what me and my little are doing tonight!

    Your Story Matters.

    1. ExploreKidTalk says:

      You made me smile. I’m so glad you liked the fine motor activities for toddlers. I try to give parents a way they can help their kids right at home without spending a ton of money. These are all activities I’ve done with my kids as well as the kids I work with. Enjoy. Let me know how it goes.

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