Research shows that emphasis on purely intellectual activities—like memorization of letters and numbers, for instance—is far less useful at this stage than pursuits that encourage fine motor abilities and hand-eye coordination.
Fine motor skills actually lay the foundation for academic learning in later years.
What Are Fine Motor Skills?
Fine motor skills are the everyday movements (like holding a pencil or tying a shoelace) that require the strength, coordination, and dexterity of the small muscles of the body like those in the hands, fingers, and wrists. After your child has turned 1, She is developing her fine motor skills, which involve the coordination of small muscles in the hands and fingers.
A child will develop these fine motor skills between 1-2 years of age:--
Activities to develop Fine Motor Skills at Home (1-2years)
Playing with Play-Doh or Clay: Provide your child with Play-Doh or child-safe clay to manipulate and mold. Encourage them to squeeze, roll, and shape it using their fingers, promoting hand strength and dexterity.
MOMS TIP - Try Making nontoxic Play-Doh at home. As this age group tends to put everything in their mouth.
Recommended reading: How to Make Non-Toxic Play-dough/ Clay at Home
Stringing Beads: Use large, colorful beads with large holes and provide a string or shoelace for your child to thread the beads onto. This activity helps improve hand-eye coordination, finger control, and concentration.
MOMS TIP - Avoid small-sized beads as they can choke your child. Large beads and pipe cleaners are easier to work with their tiny and still developing fine motor skills.
Puzzles with Chunky Pieces: Choose puzzles with chunky pieces that are easy for small hands to grasp and manipulate. These puzzles help develop hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, and problem-solving skills.
MOMS TIP - Solve puzzles with your children. They won't start doing it on the very first day, it takes time. Start with 2 piece puzzles then go till 3.
Stacking and Nesting Toys: Offer stacking cups, nesting blocks, or other toys that require your child to manipulate and stack objects. This activity enhances hand-eye coordination, bilateral coordination, and finger control.
MOMS TIP - We often give such toys at the age of 9-12 months. You can wait till they turn 12 months or older.
Nuts and bolts or Chain Links games: Chain Links is a cool game for your little baby that improves hand-eye co-ordination using bright and attractive colors
Scribbling with Crayons: Provide large, washable crayons and paper for your child to scribble and explore mark-making. This helps develop hand strength, hand-eye coordination, and early writing skills.
MOMS TIP- Give them a sheet to scribble independently. Beware of your walls Parents, you might need to repaint your walls after when they turn 2. Prefer Chunky Crayons for a better grip.
Finger Painting: Set up a safe finger-painting activity using non-toxic paints. Let your child use their fingers to explore and create art. You yourself will love this activity. with your child.
MOMS TIP - Paste a drawing sheet on their table or you can paste them on the floor so that can be as creative as they want without spoiling your furniture or curtains.
Playing with Stickers: Offer stickers that are easy to peel, such as large foam or vinyl stickers. Encourage your child to stick them onto paper or other surfaces, promoting finger control, hand-eye coordination, and concentration.
Water Play: Provide containers, cups, and spoons for water play. Your child can pour, scoop, and transfer water from one container to another, refining their hand control and coordination.
MOMS TIP - If it's summertime, water plays are the cherry on the cake. Give them a sponge to dip and squeeze, give them utensils to fill up, or some vegetables floating and the strainer from your kitchen.
Tearing Paper: Give your child scrap paper or old magazines and let them tear it into pieces. This activity helps develop finger strength and coordination.
MOMS TIP - Every child, even before they have aged 1, loves tearing paper. In fact, it is very soothing to them and improves their fine motor skills.
Building with Blocks: Offer blocks that are easy to grasp and stack. Encourage your child to build towers or structures, promoting hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and fine motor control.
MOMS TIP - Go slow, tell them to put a block on the block instead of making any figures like a tower, or building.
Invest in some Infix trays- The best for this age range are simple shapes, or their favorite animals, attached to handles that fit into indents on a board.
MOMS TIP - Try using trays and puzzles with some relatable objects like animals, and fruits, and make sure they have knobs on them to make them feasible for our little hands.
LOVE AND SUPPORT ALWAYS...!!