Tutorial Tuesday – Cheap and Easy Homemade Toddler Toys For Fine Motor Skill Play


Tutorial Tuesday

Since there won’t be any pictures or any complex instructions with this tutorial, you get four for the price of one!

I guess these aren’t really even tutorials…more like ideas, but whatever. They’re still pretty neat, and don’t cost more than a dollar a piece, and will keep a toddler/preschooler interested for at least ten minutes (which is like an eternity for my daughter).

These are all ideas or variations on ideas that we got from Sadie’s occupational therapist. That woman is so resourceful! These are all activities which stimulate the use of fine motor skills that a child between two and three years old should be working on.

DISCLAIMER: These are not meant to be given to an unsupervised child. Contains small parts.

1. Fun Balloon Balls
Materials:
Three balloons (not blown up)
One jar of Play-Doh
1/2 to 1 1/2 cups of uncooked rice
1/2 to 1 1/2 cups of flour
Funnel
Drinking straw or ink pen

You can make these yourself, or you can let your kid help…the kid will probably love making a mess with the fillings. Basically, you’re going to fill each balloon with a different material (Pay-Doh, rice and flour). So, take a balloon, put it on the end of the funnel, and pour in the filling. You may need the straw or pen to help shove the Play-Doh or rice down in there. Don’t fill it completely, because you’ll need to leave room to tie it off. When all three balloons are filled and tied, your child will have fun squishing around the different textures of the three balloons.

2. Shaving Cream Drawing Bag
Materials:
Zip-Lock bag
Shaving Cream (whipped cream would probably work as well)

This doesn’t really take any time to construct…all you do it fill the bag with the shaving cream, close the bag, and VOILA! Lay the bag down on a table or other flat surface, and your child can use their finger to draw shapes in the cream (without getting it all over their fingers). This isn’t for any kind of detailed drawing, but your toddler doesn’t exactly need a medium that allows for subtle tonal gradients or anything, right?

3. Silly Putty Surprise
Materials:
Uncooked beans, buttons, pegs…whatever you have laying around that’s about the same size as these objects
Silly Putty

Put the beans (or other objects) on the Silly Putty, and then fold it over them.The goal is to hide the beans in the putty so that your child can find them and pull them out.

4. Rice Game
Materials:
Old pill bottle/mint bottle
Uncooked rice
Tweezers

You don’t actually have to make this, so there aren’t really any instructions. You just let your child use the tweezers to try and pick up the rice and put it in the pill bottle.