The day has finally come when your toddler is going to start moving non-stop. You might have been waiting anxiously for this day, but now that it is here, what will you do to expend all of his energy? Here are some great tips from an occupational therapist on ways to promote fine motor skills with your 12-18 month old!
- Sing songs and do hand motions for songs like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Wheels on the Bus”
- Build blocks together
- Focus on stacking items like large cups, containers, shapes
- Practice dumping and filling containers
- Read books together, encouraging your child to help turn pages
- Make your own tactile boxes to allow your child to explore various textures; fill boxes with bowls, spoons, cups to allow for dumping, filling, and stirring
- Play dress up with play costumes to allow child to work on helping with dressing activities
- Go outside and allow child to explore. They can fill dirt into containers, work on picking flowers/weeds, help with watering plants.
- Most of the time the child will find fine motor opportunities by exploring their environment.
- Allow your child to color with crayons. You can even use color soap on walls of bath tub to “paint”.
- Practice simple puzzles like shape sorters or pieces that fit into boards.
- Pretend play with baby dolls and stuffed animals, such as feeding them and patting them
- Pretend play with play cooking and food items to encourage using both hands, placing items into container, stirring
These are just a few ideas on how to promote your little ones fine motor skills, if you are concerned your child is not meeting these milestones, please contact your pediatrician!
To see a video of milestones for this age group, visit our Milestones Videos