Rattles make noise, withstand chewing and work those fine motor muscles.

Toys to Promote Fine Motor Development for Infants

by Susan Revermann

As your infant grows, she needs to work the small muscles in her hands, fingers, wrists and toes to develop her fine motor skills. You can incorporate some baby toys into her regular playtime that can help her work those specific muscles. As her fine motor skills continue to progress through toddlerhood, she will be using these skills to draw, write, use scissors and manipulate objects.

1. Rattles

Rattles are a good choice for an infant, as they are durable and easy to grasp with little hands. As your young one holds this type of toy, shakes it, transfers it from one hand to the other and brings it to her mouth for a little taste, she is working the small muscles in her hand and fingers. Plus, the noise a rattle makes when shaken is rewarding and entertaining to your baby.

2. Blocks

You can find blocks for your baby in all sorts of colors, sizes and materials. Colorful soft foam, plastic or wooden blocks can be offered to your infant during playtime so she can practice her fine motor skills. As she reaches for the blocks, brings one to her mouth, bangs them together and knocks them around the floor, she is strengthening and refining her motor skills. As she progresses into toddlerhood, she will be able to stack the blocks and eventually build something with them.

3. Activity Mats and Blankets

Activity mats and blankets can come with any number of objects to entertain your baby. You can find little loops, colorful textured materials, plastic rings, noisemakers and stuffed animals attached to these play items. These vary in size from small, hand-held blankets to large mats that you place on the floor. Whether your baby is playing during tummy time or lying on her back, she will be amused while she reaches, grabs and explores while developing her fine motor skills.

4. Ring Stacks

Not only is a ring stack drool-proof and handy for chewing on, your baby can practice her fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination with this nesting toy. She can grab the colorful rings and take them off of the cone base. She may not be able to successfully place them back onto the cone until she’s a bit older, but she can try. Holding the rings and transferring them from one hand to the other gets those little muscles working.

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