• Texarkana Therapy Center

DIY Home activities for Babies & Toddlers

Working on fine motor skills at home with your baby or toddler does not have to be hard or expensive, you can find items you might already have at home to make toys for learning and developing fine motor skills.

Musical Play with pots/pans



  • Get out your pots and pans and let your child try making "music" by playing the drums with spoons. This is a great game for bilateral coordination and teaching reach for babies.






Baby Wipes Pull Game

  • -Grab a used baby wipes container or Kleenex box

  • -Grab some old fabric squares or make some

  • -Have baby pull out fabric squares from hole in container and feel with hands

  • -Can start this activity as soon as baby is able to grasp and understand to pull from container

Bottle Drop


  • -Can start activity when child is sitting independently

  • -Use a cleaned-out bottle/jug (large fruit juice bottle, milk jug, etc.)

  • -Have child drop items inside bottle, great busy play and develops fine motor skills and visual skills

  • -Can drop straws, corks, cotton balls etc. in opening

  • -As child masters, progress to next activity to make a shape sorter

Baby’s First Shape Sorter



Work on grasping, visual motor skills, and problems solving skills (great activity for when you baby is sitting independently)


  • -Can with a plastic lid (cut a hole in top of container) (hole or slot should be size of item to fit thru) (can use oatmeal container, tall yogurt container, formula container, etc.)

  • -Can use a variety of items to place thru hole (ping pong ball, cotton ball, toy ball, jumbo craft sticks, wooden blocks)

  • -Have baby usually 9-12 months of age drop items thru large hole or sticks thru slotted hole



Ice Cube Trays or Muffin Tins



  • -Use clean ice cube trays or muffin tins to sort smaller items as child gets older

  • -Can work on colors with toddler by using colored pom pom/craft balls and colored stickers in tray/tin


Cereal Play


  • -Great fine motor play to develop a pincer grasp (use of thumb and pointer finger together to grasp items, pinching activity)

  • -Use a screwdriver to something to poke holes in outside of cereal box and have baby push straws through holes

  • -Could start as early as child is sitting independently (great for 9-18 months)

Colander Play

  • -Grab a colander that you use to drain your spaghetti

  • -Grab some pipe cleaners and have toddler push pipe cleaners through the holes to work on fine motor and visual skills


Painting


  • -Grab some wet sponges have toddler stamp on thick paper

  • -Have toddler squeeze water out of sponges into a bowl, great hand strengthening

  • -Water paints or just painting with plain water using brush and paper

  • -Q tip painting (have toddler paint on paper using q tips)

  • -Marshmallow painting (use small marshmallows for 2-3 years of age to work on pincer grasp to paint on paper)

Chip Clip Play

  • 2-4 years of age have squeeze chip clips to place on edge of a container or paper to work on hand strengthening

  • Work on stringing activities with children 2-4 years of age depending on skill level

  • Cut a straw into pieces, or if child is older have 3-4-year-old snip straws into pieces and place in bowl then string on a pipe cleaner or lace

  • String Cheerios or Fruit loops on pipe cleaner or lace

  • String dried noodles on pipe cleaner, shoe lace, or yarn


Legos or Megablocks for fine motor play and hand strengthening


Spray Bottle play for hand strengthening (use a spray bottle to squirt a ping pong ball across table or in a bowl of water or spray on paper/picture with paint)






Article by: Kylie Hinton, M.S., OTR/L


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About Us

Texarkana Therapy Center is a pediatric therapy clinic located in Texarkana Texas. We are committed to seeing our children grow, learn, and excel in all areas of their lives. Our team offers a multi-disciplinary approach through speech, physical, and occupational therapy. We are dedicated to providing exceptional care in a loving and nurturing environment for our patients and families.

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