Growing Bookworms: Toys that help develop fine motor skills in children

It is important for children to develop good fine motor skills so they can perform important tasks such as feeding themselves, grasping objects, drawing, cutting, and writing. Successful achievement of these skills increases children’s confidence.

These are a few examples of toys that help children develop fine motor skills:

Threading beads

Threading beads on a string is an excellent activity for small children. Large beads with thick stings and large holes are best for younger children. Sets with smaller beads, strings and holes are available for older children. Children love making necklaces and bracelets for themselves, parents and other caregivers.

Lacing cards

Lacing involves threading a string or shoelace through a board. It is the same action that is used to thread shoelaces in a shoe. Parents and caregivers can create their own board using cardboard and scissors or a paper punch. Alternatively, you can purchase lacing kits.

Building blocks

Building blocks have many benefits other than improved fine motor skills. Among these are increased attention span, working with other children i.e. team work, gross motor skills, science concepts (such as gravity, weight, stability and balance), spatial development, early maths and number concepts, and language development. Lego is a more advanced form of building with blocks.

Drawing and painting tools

Drawing and painting is a wonderful and fun way of allowing children to develop their fine motor skills. There are a variety of different instruments for drawing and painting, including wax crayons, oil pastels, paints of all sorts, coloured pens and pencils, ect.

Drawing has the added benefit of teaching children how to hold a tool or instrument to make shapes and drawings on a surface.


Puzzle come in all sorts of shapes and sizes from shape sorters for very young children to large, complex puzzles for older children. There are also a variety of colourful peg boards that are available for children.

I had all of these toys for my children and I used to sit and do activities with them in the afternoons. I also used to get the boys to cut out shapes and stick them on paper to make interesting designs. Michael struggled with cutting and it was one of the first indicators I identified of his auditory processing barrier.

Did you do any of these activities with your children? If yes, do you think they helped your child with learning to write? Let me know if the comments.

About Robbie Cheadle


Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with 9 children’s books and 2 poetry books.

The 7 Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie has also published 2 books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has 2 adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories in the horror and paranormal genre and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie writes a monthly series for called Growing Bookworms. This series discusses different topics relating to the benefits of reading to children.

Robbie has a blog, where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Find Robbie Cheadle



Twitter: BakeandWrite

Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram

Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books


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41 Comments on “Growing Bookworms: Toys that help develop fine motor skills in children”

  1. Staci Troilo says:

    Excellent suggestions, Robbie. I did all those things but the beads with my kids. And I’m looking forward to doing them with my granddaughter.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a great post. Fine motor skills for kids is so important. My kids came by them naturally so I didn’t think much about them. These are a great list of approaches.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Robbie's inspiration and commented:

    This month’s Growing Bookworms post on Writing to be Read is about toys that help children develop fine motor skills. Thank you for hosting, Kaye Lynne Booth.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Puzzles, were one of my favourite, the large wooden kind when children were smaller and the love of puzzle making with jigsaws are still enjoyed as they grew older ❤ 🙂 Abd Paints and paper and glue, always on hand lol
    Great post Robbie 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I must agree that these are wonderful tools for helping children cultivate those fine motor skills, but they are also terrific for keeping adult brains sharp! My 86-year-old father LOVES puzzles and I thoroughly enjoy making jewelry using beads and wire. Good stuff here.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My mother employed all of these activities to develop fine motor skills in me, my brother, and my daughter.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. memadtwo says:

    Blocks are good for math skills too. My family still does puzzles. And don’t all young children draw all the time? When they grow put of it, that’s sad. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Kerfe, I suppose I never grew out of artwork and that’s why I still do it. Many children in South Africa have never experienced drawing because their schools can’t afford the paper and crayons/writing equipment. Some of the day care cum nursery schools only have one caregiver to 50 or 60 kids so its really just crowd control.

      Liked by 2 people

      • memadtwo says:

        That’s too bad. Just another example of how spoiled we are without even knowing it much of the time. Often the teachers here have to buy supplies, but most children here at least have pencils and paper, which is all you need.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Toni Pike says:

    That is wonderful advice, Robbie. I’ll try to find these for my grandchildren, especially lacing and beading as I hand’t thought of that. Toni x

    Liked by 2 people

  9. All great tools for little ones, Robbie. I couldn’t get my grandson to lace cards, but did he ever love beads and building blocks. These are wonderful ideas for helping our kids excel.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. beetleypete says:

    Great ideas for kids’ development,.Robbie.
    Shared both posts on Twitter for you.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. dgkaye says:

    Excellent activities for children Robbie. When I was young I used to love the lacing cards. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  12. petespringerauthor says:

    One of the reasons some kids struggle with writing is their lack of fine motor skills. These activities are fun and beneficial.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I got sidetracked from making a comment for your post, Robbie! All of the activities you listed are wonderful to help with the kids’ cognitive and fine motor skills development. My 4-year-old granddaughter, Autumn, is very good at doing them. Both Autumn and Nora (2-year-old) are fascinated with buckling the seatbelts. They started at about 18 months old. Before getting into the high chair for meals, they wanted to buckle the seatbelt. Their hands got more and more sturdy and could do it faster and more precisely. Right now, they could buckle their seatbelts in the car. In fact, they don’t want help. So we just have to be patient and watch them doing for themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. olganm says:

    I don’t have kids, but these are great activities, and, as many have noted, they are also great for adults and for the elderly. I am a big fan of puzzles myself! Thanks for sharing these, Robbie!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Jennie says:

    Robbie, this is an excellent list. The only thing I might add is clay. Working and kneading clay is a ‘workout’ for hand muscles, and those are the muscles needed for fine motor skill development.

    Liked by 2 people

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