Babies and toddlers learn through their senses and interact with materials around them as soon as they can grasp, pinch, and grab at them.
In this article, we look at different ways to develop fine motor skills with play.
What Are Fine Motor Skills?
Fine motor skills are related to the hand, palm, and finger muscles as well as to the muscles surrounding the mouth and eyes. As a baby grows, it is important to ensure that fine motor skills develop in sync with emotional and physical maturity.
Infant Developmental Milestones
Even though every child is different, there are some milestones that you can look out for. According to Kamloops Children’s Therapy, “Fine motor” refers to the movements we make with the small muscles of the hands.
Children start to use their hands right at birth to explore their own bodies and the world around them. Their fine motor skills develop as their whole body starts to move and become more stable.
They also learn to do more things with their hands as their cognitive and social/emotional skills improve.
Typical Developmental Milestones For Fine Motor Skills
Between the ages of 0-4 months, your baby will:
- Turn her head toward sounds and voices
- Stare at bright objects and follow them with his eyes
- Move her arms together and apart
- Bring his hands to his mouth, and possibly suck on his own hands or fingers
By 4 months, lift his head and shoulders off the floor when laying on his tummy
Between the ages of 4-8 months, your baby will:
- Grab onto objects within her reach
- Rollover to explore and get to objects
- Prop himself up on his arms when laying on his tummy
- Sit independently for brief periods
- Pass objects from one hand to the other hand
Between the ages of 8-12 months, your baby will:
- Reach, grab, and put objects in her mouth
- Pinch small objects (e.g. cheerios) with thumb and pointer finger
- Move objects from one hand to the other
- Drop and pick up toys
- Bang two objects together
- Let go of objects on purpose
- Put things into containers (with large openings) and take them out again
- Bite and chew toys
- Hold a spoon (but not yet feed herself)
- Hold his own bottle
- Hold out an arm or leg to help with dressing
- Wave hello or goodbye
Develop Those Fine Motor Skills
The best way to develop fine motor skills is with play. There are so many fun activities you can do with your baby to develop and strengthen those fine motor skills.
Many toys develop fine motor skills, including those for infants and toddlers. One of these toys is the Laugh & Learn® Magic Color Mixing Bowl from Fisher-Price.
This light-up musical mixing bowl ‘magically’ knows when little bakers place the ingredients inside and reward every put-and-take action with colourful lights, music, sounds, and learning phrases.
With six removable ‘ingredient’ play pieces, two buttons that activate more fun songs and sounds, and an adorable light-up face, this sweet baking toy is deliciously fun! Making it easy to develop fine motor skills is with play.
Where Development Comes Into Play
- Early Academics: Sung songs and phrases introduce your baby to the alphabet, colours, numbers, and more!
- Fine Motor Skills: Grasping and moving the play pieces in and out of the mixing bowl helps strengthen your baby’s dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
- Thinking Skills: Babies are introduced to the fun of cause and effect as they figure out how to activate the lights and music by placing the ingredients in the bowl or pressing the two buttons.
With that being said, remember that all children develop at their own pace. And as a mommy myself I want to remind you that whatever you are doing to make sure your child develops correctly and on time, is probably the best thing you can do. Mommy, you’ve got this!
Find the Laugh & Learn® Magic Color Mixing Bowl from Fisher-Price here:
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Disclaimer: Any advice and information provided in this article is given as suggestions only and should not be taken as a professional medical diagnosis or opinion. We recommend you to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or queries.