In providing this list of baby toys for dexterity improvement, I hope that these do not replace the use of scissors, playdoh, and silly string for young children. The dexterity of adults is often taken for granted, and the more swiping devices our children are playing with, the less fine motor skills they are acquiring. I surveyed fourteen Kindergarten teachers who had been teaching longer than 12 years. Every single one has noticed more children entering Kindergarten without the hand strength that was once expected and normal. Many children do not know how to handle scissors, and some have never played with playdoh.
Why Does a Child’s Dexterity Matter?
Kindergartners are being expected to learn at rates that far exceed expectations when I was in elementary school. Entrance exams are more difficult, math skills are on steroids, and spelling is hot and heavy. Because of the push of academic testing from school boards and state boards, parents and pre-k programs are pushing the memorization prior to ever beginning school. Kids are entering already knowing how to write their names, phone numbers, and addresses on letter envelopes. To combat the academic push on kids that used to be expected to play, parents are pushing free-play and therefore more and more kids are coming in to Kindergarten knowing how to play two or three sports, jump-the-creek, dodge ball, and red light green light. What is being lost is the art of messy-play. Kids don’t have the strength in their hands, which contain very very very small muscles, they once did.
This affects the child’s ability to cut paper, zip zippers, button pants, color, write, type… the list goes on!
Here Are Our Favorite 22 Baby Toys for Dexterity – CLICK TO TWEET
that might come in handy when you want to work on fine motor skills with your child but don’t have the room, time, or patience for the messy art.
My three year old daughter has loved these toys as she’s grown older:
2. Wikki Sticks Alphabet, Numbers, and Shapes
3. Squirrel Tongs Game
5. Squeezable Bubbles
6. Stretchy Bands
7. Zipper Zoom Game
8. Squiggle Bracelets
Toys We Love Specifically for my L1 Syndrome Baby Boy
He is 19 months developmentally 0-6 months of age.
9. Chewey Bangle Bracelets
10. Vibrating Wiggle Pen
11. Brain Noodles to go with the Wikki Stick Alphabet, Numbers, and Shapes
12. Stretchy Sensory Ball
13. Bubble Trumpet
14. Extra Large Pop Beads
16. Chunky Peg Boards
17. Dino Popper
18. Velcro Catch Game
19. Zebra Push and Pull (heavier weighted ones)
20. Dancing Alligator
21. Nuts and Bolts
22. Stretchy String
Do you have any favorite toys your young child adored that helped him work on his fine motor skills? Please please please comment and share your resources with us!
I also want to share with you, since you all know I love fall, this post from I Am Zoe Watson, about the sweetest favorite thing for her about fall. And trust me, its way sweeter than pumpkin spice treats!