Help your toddler's motor skills with fun activities.

Two-Handed Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers

by Kelly Sundstrom

Fine motor skills can help your child have nice-looking handwriting, tie her shoes by herself and manipulate buttons on clothing. If your toddler seems to struggle with fine motor skills, help her improve these skills by providing her with a few two-handed activities to increase muscle development in her hands and fingers.

1. Stringing Beads

Place a bowl of medium to large beads on to a table in front of your toddler. Ensure that the hole size of the beads can easily accommodate a shoelace, then hand a shoelace to your toddler. Demonstrate how to string a bead onto the shoelace so your toddler understands how to do it, then allow her to string the beads on her own. Allow her to take as long as she needs to string the beads. When she finishes, you can tie the ends of the shoelace together to create a necklace she can wear.

2. Sculpting Play-Doh

Sculpting works the muscles in the hands and fingers, but you need to give your toddler sculpting materials appropriate for her age, such as non-toxic Play-Doh. Let your toddler mold the Play-Doh however she likes into various forms and shapes. After she has worked the dough for a while, show her how to construct simple forms such as basic geometric forms.

3. Making Cookie Cutouts

Help your toddler improve fine motor skills in a tasty and delicious way by showing her how to make sugar cookie cutouts. Make a batch of basic sugar cookie dough ahead of time, then place a ball of the cookie dough onto a floured surface. Give your toddler a rolling pin, and help her roll out the dough into a one-fourth inch sheet. Demonstrate how to cut out a cookie using a whimsically shaped cookie cutter, then bake the cookies as directed in the recipe. Allow your toddler to roll and cut out cookies as long as she wants to help build her hand and finger muscles.

4. Cut and Paste

Give your toddler a craft project to increase fine motor skills such as a cut-and-paste collage. Give your toddler a pair of child scissors, then allow her to cut out paper shapes from a variety of differently colored and textured papers. Demonstrate to your toddler how to glue the pieces of paper onto a large piece of craft paper using a glue stick. Allow your child to cut and paste as long as she prefers to improve her fine motor skills.

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