10 Favorite Toys for Fine Motor Skills and Coordination

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This post is written in partnership with Amazon. All toy suggestions and thoughts about these toys are my own.

It has been a fun, full summer so far! As we gear up for back to school, I think about what we have done this summer to keep up with our learning and exploring. We read, play, and draw at home a lot. I wanted to share some of my favorite toys that I think keep our kiddos (ages 8.5, 6, and 2.5) fine motor skills growing. They are all unique toys that have helped prepare kids’ hands for writing and drawing. I honestly think the play we have done this summer will help them have a happy school year. Plus, these are life savers for after school play at home! After all, 

Play is the work of children. Maria Montessori

10 Favorite Toys to Encourage Fine Motor Skills 

1. Magnatiles 

This is one of the best gifts we have received! I had no idea about Magnatiles until someone gifted them to us upon the arrival of our third child. My kids build with these tiles over and over again. And I actually like to build with them too! They are colorful, fun, magnetic builders with endless possibilities. Our kids have built homes, rocket ships, towers, etc. The price is hefty, but considering how many hours they can spend creating with these, it is well worth it!

2. Water Beads

Water beads start off as these teeny tiny balls, but throw them in a bin with water and they magically transform into these fun gel-like beads. Kids can scoop them, glide things through them, let the beads trickle through their hands, fill up containers with the beads, and the list goes on. The only downside to the beads can be cleaning them up (if they land on the ground). They can get squished if they are stepped on. Or they shrink back to the teeny tiny ball shape over time and can easily be swept up. The beads dry up over time which allows them to be played with over and over again. 

3. Kinetic Sand

Kinetic Sand is like regular sand, but magical! It has this incredible ability to stick to itself and even comes in fun colors. It has this neat squishy texture that can be molded and formed into different shapes. My kids LOVE this and have created scene after scene in our special Kinetic Sand container (a wide, wooden box). It is also simply fun to run hands through and make simple structures that can then be patted down. 

4. Play-doh

Of course, we all know and love play-doh! I had to have this on our go-to play items for little hands. Play-doh lets our kids imaginations run wild! They can literally build anything their minds imagine, from food to animals or from a tea party set to a snowman. Play-doh offers hours of entertainment and is so good for strengthening hands to draw and write. 

5. Mosaic Pegboard

Our Mosaic Pegboard was recommended to me by a friend who happens to be an Occupational Therapist. This has been a very approachable toy that is great for developing fine motor skills. The child picks an art sheet, puts it on the peg board, and then places the dots on the pegboard to make a cute picture. Sometimes all of the pieces don’t match or sometimes they like to simply pop the dots on and off of the pegboard. However they want to play with it is great! It reminds me of a little kid version of Lite-Bright which I am sure we all remember fondly!

6. Tangram Blocks Matching Game

I love watching our toddler and elementary age kids work with Tangrams. It is like watching them figure out a puzzle as they put the pieces together. These Tangram Blocks also help with fine motor skills and help with problem solving. They can also create their own art when they aren’t following the prompts from the printable sheets. Tangrams make educational toys fun and give kids a boost of self-confidence each time they complete a printable.

7. Legato Counting/Sorting Bears

Sorting and Counting Bears are adorable and help kids visualize counting and simple math problems. Plus, they have tongs to make the game of sorting and counting even more fun. Kids can also categorize the bears by color! It is such a fundamental and fun activity. 

8. Puzzles

We love age appropriate puzzles. Like a lot. We especially love large floor puzzles like the Melissa and Doug Fire Truck Puzzle and the Farm Puzzle. They are big enough so everyone feels like they have an opportunity to participate. We also love smaller individual puzzles like this pirate puzzle and ballerina puzzle. I love when kids get so familiar with a puzzle that they confidently put it together quickly. I can tell it makes them feel like they have conquered the puzzle!

9. Wooden Blocks

Wooden blocks are a staple in our home! The kids play with them constantly and we have an assortment of larger Wooden Blocks and Smaller Wooden Blocks. We have even combined our Jenga game and put it in our wooden block bin. The kids imaginations run wild with blocks and they create the neatest towers and homes for their toys. I do not have a Wooden Rainbow, but I have seen my kids play with one at a friends home and think it would be a wonderful addition to our block collection. This classic toy keeps us happy! 

10. Legos and Duplo Legos

Last, but certainly not least are LEGOS. Legos = a good play time because everyone loves them! I remember when our oldest son got his first lego set (around age one), he would take them apart one by one. Now he builds entire vehicles in just 30 minutes and is really into Avengers and Ninjago sets. Legos come with ideas to create things, but kids’ imaginations help legos become anything they want. 

These toys not only keep our kids engaged in play, but also help their fine motor skills and problem solving ability. Both of which are so important for school! Do you have any favorite toys that keep your kiddo active and engaged and to help with their fine motor skills? Please share them in the comments. We are always looking for new ideas!

Disclaimer: This post does contain Amazon Affiliate Links. If you choose to purchase an item through these links, it doesn’t change your price and a teeny tiny portion would go to support our site and we would be so grateful. 

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Courtney was born and raised in Louisiana where she met her husband (married in 2005). Since then they have moved several times, but finally feel very settled in NW DC after moving back a little over two years ago. She has four energetic kids: Cormac (2010), Evangeline (2013), and Solomon (2016), and Antoinette (2019). She thinks motherhood is absolutely wonderful, but she is constantly challenged and stretched in ways she couldn't have imagined. She spends her days talking Star Wars, legos, playing dress-up, and chasing her toddler. We all know motherhood is challenging so she wanted to band together with other mothers to start this site to inspire, learn, and grow together. She loves morning coffee, chocolate, chatting with people since she's an extrovert, a clean house (which is rare these days). She dislikes when her kids don't listen the first time, she abhors littering, and doesn't enjoy shopping.