How To Improve Toddler Fine Motor Skills

Want to help your toddler develop those all-important fine motor skills? It can be tricky to think of effective yet engaging activities for your little one.

But, fear not, here’s how to improve toddler fine motor skills with our top 10 activities.


What are fine motor skills and why are motor skills important?

Many of your child’s daily tasks, such as getting dressed, eating, and writing, need hand control. We know these abilities as fine motor skills. When your child practices these skills, they will accomplish more for themselves.

From writing with a pencil to using a computer mouse to playing a musical instrument, many activities can build muscle strength and coordination, preparing toddlers for these more advanced skills.

Fine motor skills are required for tasks such as buttoning a shirt, eating with a knife and fork, tying shoelaces, cutting with scissors, and writing or colouring.

During play, toddlers use fine motor skills. Here’s a list of fine motor skills for toddlers that you can do at home:


  • Playing with a rattle
  • Block stacking
  • Bead stringing
  • Solving puzzles
  • Doll dressing
  • Having fun with puppets
  • Making clay sculptures
  • Laying train or car tracks
  • Using Legos or other construction toys to build
  • Taking part in board games (rolling dice, moving small pieces, spinning spinners)


When a toddler cannot perform these basic tasks, it can affect their self-esteem, capacity to develop self-care and independence skills, and academic success. Here are ten ways to help your child develop their fine motor skills with activities for toddlers.


How to improve your toddler’s fine motor skills – 10 activities

Below are some fine motor skills activities for toddlers that you can get stuck into.


  • Get Creative with Playdough

Tactile play with old favourites like Playdough is a terrific method for toddlers to try new things while honing their fine motor skills. Make the Playdough with your toddler prior before they play with it to make it even more fun.

Toddler playing with play dough to improve fine motor skills


  • Piece Together Puzzles

When it comes to puzzles, your toddler can become irritated and give up easily, misplace pieces, or put them in their mouth. But the rewards are well worth the effort if you stick with it. It’s one of the best fine motor skills activities for toddlers.

Engage with and encourage your child to do simple puzzles initially, then advance to more difficult ones—this will develop their hand-eye coordination and motor abilities. Parents can gain a lot of satisfaction from seeing their child’s smile and sense of accomplishment when they finish a puzzle.

Toddlers doing puzzles to improve fine motor skills


  • Colour, draw, and paint with arts and crafts

Encourage your child to create artwork. This benefits their fine motor skills as well as their creativity and imagination. Enhance their hand-eye coordination by trying different types of colouring and painting such as crayons, chalk, finger paints, brush painting, or charcoal to stimulate their interest.

Painting with a paintbrush teaches children how to grasp a brush and manipulate other objects in their hands, such as pencils and other objects. Paint-by-number is a fun way for young children to practise brush painting.

Toddlers drawing and painting


  • Use tweezers or tongs

If you’re stuck on how to improve toddler fine motor skills, why not create a game for kids? Try getting your toddler to pick up small objects like sultanas, grapes, noodles, buttons, and coins, with a small set of kitchen tongs or tweezers, and put them in a bowl.

Toddler picking up small objects for fine motor skills


  • Cut shapes with scissors

Scissors are an excellent tool for improving fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and focus. You can use your imagination to draw shapes for your child to cut out. Make some snowflakes out of paper. Even cut Playdough.

Remember to use safety scissors that are appropriate for your child’s age. This is a good one to add to your list of fine motor skills activities for toddlers.

Children using scissors to improve fine motor skills


  • Splash and play in the bath

Fill and pour glasses, squeeze sponges or squeak rubber toys. Don’t worry if water spills on the floor; you can always wipe it up afterwards. Bath time activity helps toddlers improve fine motor skills by strengthening their fingers and wrists.

Toddler playing in the bath


  • Use your favourite toys in the sand

Using cups to fill, pour, and pour out is amazing fun, and it improves sensory development, like bath time play. With spoons, scoop, and dig. Use moulds. Make pictures and construct things. Magic sand is an excellent indoor option. All of the above are great fine motor skills activities for toddlers.

Toddler improving fine motor skills by playing in sand


  • Build things with blocks and Lego

If you’re wondering how to improve toddler fine motor skills – stack, connect and build things together with blocks and Lego. We encourage fine pushing and pulling motions in these activities. 

Lego is also a fantastic way to encourage creativity, and an excellent way to play. Working on and developing your child’s fine motor skills can be as simple as building with Lego. 

Children can also learn persistence, a sense of success, and an enhanced ability to solve puzzles by playing with Lego.

Toddlers playing with blocks to improve fine motor skills


  • Experiment using eye droppers

Drop this one into your activity list of fine motor skills for toddlers. Fill a few glasses with water then put a few drops of food colouring in each so they all have a different colour.

Have a few empty bowls and glasses on hand where your toddler can play and experiment with mixing different coloured water using an eyedropper. 

Toddler using eye droppers to improve fine motor skills


  • Lace and thread with bits and bobs

Use strings, laces, and pipe cleaners to thread different kinds of pasta or beads. Make bows and knots using the string. Finger knitting is simple and enjoyable for your toddler while at the same time, one of the most effective fine motor skill activities for toddlers.

Balls of wool for toddlers to improve fine motor skills


Bonus: Brushing your toddler’s teeth is beneficial to his or her motor development

Brushing a child’s teeth might be tough, especially getting them to brush properly, but it is key to their fine motor skill development.


What should you do if you’re unsure about how to improve your toddler’s fine motor skills?

If you’re worried, coordination and balance problems may not be apparent until children reach school age. However, if you’re concerned about your child’s motor skills, here at Little Angels have specialist staff who can help.

Our specialists assist pre-school children and their families in developing basic sensory awareness and motor skills to aid in self-care skills and school readiness through fine and gross motor skills practice in their day to day activities.


Improving your toddler’s fine motor skills at Little Angels

This list of fine motor skills for toddlers is just the tip of the iceberg. We have over ten years of childcare expertise and recognise the value of developing our children’s fine and gross motor skills at Little Angels.

Your little one will be continually engaged and learning with us thanks to our wide choice of fine and gross motor skills activities for toddlers aimed at honing their motor skills to improve their daily functioning, focus and self-confidence.

Download a brochure to learn more about Little Angels, or feel free to contact us.

Ready to experience what we have to offer at Little Angels? Book a space at our 2022 Open Day here.