teacher and toddler playing

Sensory Activities for Fine Motor Skills

Written by Moms on Call

Fine motor skills refer to the small movements of the hands, wrists, fingers, feet, toes, tongue and lips. Developing fine motor skills is not only exciting for us parents as we watch our little ones explore and grow, but they also play a big role in developmental milestones for babies, such as grabbing/pinching at small items or holding their own bottle.

Practicing fine motor skills at home with baby can be fun and easy! Here are some activities you can try with colorful craft pom poms. *These activities use small objects. You may want to modify this activity to better suit your child and, of course, never leave your child unattended when doing these activities Activity for 12-24 months

Pom Pom Whisk

What you need:
  • Craft pom poms or cotton balls
    • Modification: Sponge cut into triangles
  • Soft silicone whisk (bendable)
  • Small container
Baby is practicing:
  • Picking up small objects
  • Transferring a small object from one hand to the other
  • Using thumb and index finger to pinch object
  • Releasing and/or placing object in small container
What to do:
  • Fill whisk with cotton balls or pom poms.
  • Show your little how to grasp and pinch out the pom pom.
  • Let them explore!!
  • Once they’ve got the hang of it, add in the bowl for them to place the pom pom in after removing.
  • CHALLENGE: grab an empty water bottle and have your little one push the pom pom through the top!
Activity for 2-4 yrs old

Pom Pom Scoop

Now that we’ve grasped picking up pom poms, let’s move to scooping. What you need:
  • Craft pom poms or cotton balls
    • Modification: Cheerios, Blocks
  • Large bowl
  • Smaller container (e.g. cups, ice tray, muffin tray)
  • Multiple size spoons
Baby is Practicing:
  • Removing objects from container
  • Grasping/holding spoons
  • Scooping up
  • Dumping or placing small objects into a container
What to do:
  • Fill Large bowl with pom poms
  • Try out different sized spoons and containers to pour into
  • One LARGE scoop into a smaller container
  • One teeny tiny teaspoon into an ice tray
  • Talk with baby and encourage along the way!

Pom Pom Color/Number Sorting

What you need:
  • Craft pom poms
    • Modification: Cheerios
  • Cupcake Liner (white)
  • Colored Paper
  • Kids tweezers/tongs/clothespin
Toddler is practicing:
  • Opening/shutting of tweezers/tongs/clothespin
  • Sorting by color
  • Sorting into groups by number
What to do: Color Sorting
  • Place primary colored construction paper down
  • Pick up the pom poms with your tongs and show your toddler how to color match
  • Say the color each time your little one picks up and drops the pom pom
Number Sorting
  • Write numbers 1-5 on the inside of your cupcake liner
  • Pick up the pom pom 1 at a time and count
  • One pom pom in the #1 liner
  • Count with them as they go and recognize the number
Now that we’ve explored sensory play and fine motor skills, we’d love to hear what your favorite activities are and why! What is your favorite sensory activity to do with your little? Jump over to @momsoncall on Instagram to tell us in the comments!
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