parent’s first few years. Especially if you live in an area where you’re either
inside all winter, due to the cold, or like me, where you are stuck inside all
summer due to excessive heat! (Hello, 120 degrees…)
developing at a rapid rate, and so are their physical skills! Being a former
teacher, I get a ton of questions about activities for toddlers that help with
sensory development. I also love working on fine motor development. All too
often, I will have kiddos in my classroom (ages 4 and 5) that could have
greatly benefited from activities like these at ages 2 or 3. No one is to
blame, as there isn’t a handbook, or guide on how to be a parent or how to help
your child develop… that’s why I am here to share some fun, cheap, simple ideas
that both you and your little one will enjoy.
Three Simple Activities
and also need to work on their pincer grasp (picking up a tiny object with 2 or
3 fingers). Grace was a bit behind with this since she didn’t start eating
solids until nine months old, so I created an easy activity for extra practie.
I put cheerios into an ice cube tray, and held it in place so she could pick
them out one by one! She loves it because she munches and works, and I’m a
happy mama because she is learning.
balls, etc for older kids to work on their fine motor technique, just please
watch them closely!
into a physical activity! Children work on their fine motor skills by “fishing”
for the foam letters in the bowl of flour! You can take this to another level
for older kids by using a giant tub of flour and putting the whole alphabet in
written down in pen on the white piece of paper. Then your child’s task is to
match it to the letter they pull out to the letter on the sheet. Example: your
child pulls an ‘F’ out of the bowl of flour, and you show them where to put it
(on the white piece of paper where it says ‘F’) This activity can be as
difficult or as easy as you like. Obviously, when I play this with Grace, who
is only 13 months old, there is no letter recognition involved – I guide her
hand to match all of the letters! However, a 2 or 3 year old may be able to
easily point out “F” and say that aloud before placing it on the sheet. For 4
or 5 year olds, you can have them name the letter, and then say what sound the
letter makes (/f/) or even have them think of a word that starts with ‘F’ like
“fox”! The possibilities are endless! I do however, want to encourage you to
have fun with this, and not treat it like a quiz.
will take place naturally, through play! Let them get their hands and face
messy in the flour!
put on some oldies (we preferred the Beach Boys) and start making necklaces
with noodles! All you need is some yarn and uncooked pasta, and you’ve got
yourself a recipe for a masterpiece (pun intended)!
make the yarn go through the noodle, and the finished product is SO cute. Help
them tie the knot at the end and then these turn into great gifts for parents,
siblings, and grandparents. I had a boyfriend in kindergaraten who made me a
noodle necklace out of macaroni, so this will forever be a hilarious activity
A couple of helpful tips (it’s the teacher in me)
something before expecting them to do it. It’s monkey see, monkey do. Every
child learns at a different pace, some need to be shown once, and others will
need to be shown fifteen times. This doesn’t make any child smarter or less
intelligent, it just means we all learn at our own pace, and that is one
hundred percent okay!
care for your child’s safety) engage them in the activities! Let them teach
their siblings how to do the activity and be sure to include the whole family.
Remember, these can be tailored for all ages!