Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscles, usually involving the synchronization of hands and fingers, with the eyes. Controlling smaller muscle movements can often present big challenges for children with special needs. Developing fine motor muscles is an essential first step towards holding a pencil, learning to dress, and much more. We feature toys that are designed specifically to help kids develop their finger muscles and their hand-eye coordination.
Below we have compiled a selection of some new products as well as some classic choices to help families through their toy purchasing decisions, each of which offer fun ways to improve motor skills, balance, strength or social skill building.
Nothing inspires spatial exploration quite like Magna-Tiles. These translucent, endlessly fascinating magnetic tiles let kids who love to build use their own imaginations to connect squares and triangles of various sizes, developing motor skills along the way. Kids instantly delve into early shape discovery as they learn what each shape is called and then launch right into early geometry by connecting shapes to build in both 2D and 3D. Magna-Tiles can be played with alone or with others, and is a good choice for children who need some space to regroup and still engage in constructive play. Clear the dining room table and let the fun begin!
This adorable Elf Popper launches soft foam balls! Squeeze the elf’s belly to launch the foam flying balls and see who can shoot them farthest. The harder you squeeze the farther they go – up to 20 feet! The Elf Popper is a fun way for kids with autism and other special needs to practice fine motor skills, strengthen their hands, and promote bilateral coordination which is vital for handwriting skills. The Elf Popper is safe for both indoor and outdoor play and comes with 6 soft foam balls and a carry net. Works with all Power Popper refills. A great way to encourage physical activity!
SHAPE SORTING CLOCK
With this fun colorful clock, children can match the colors, sort the shapes, and solve the puzzle as they manipulate the color blocks and turn the hands, building cognitive and motor skills, developing handeye coordination, and laying the groundwork for learning to tell time. Kids love the color-coded minute and hour hands that spin around with a simple push. The large face, exposed natural wood, and pops of vibrant color on matchable chunky pieces make this clock a fun learning tool. Children begin to master early-learning concepts as they gain familiarity with the form of a clock and concepts of time. Before you know it they’ll be telling you it’s time to go to school!
FIND IT GAME
The Find It game has entertained kids of all ages as a “contained adventure,” a portable scavenger hunt with so many ways to play. In this new version, children search for the elusive Elf on a Shelf, as well as 39 more Christmas themed goodies. This neat educational toy is tons of fun and provides lots of visual/motor perceptual skill building too! From ornaments and snowflakes, stockings and jingle bells, and even a miniature chocolate chip cookie, the items inside are sure to delight fans and the Find It game will become part of the Christmas tradition to be played throughout the holidays each year.