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Simple Tools of Play

With the newest technologies and innovations at this day and age, a child holding a phone or a tablet is a sight that you commonly see. And the pandemic made it even worse. Children are confined to their homes and parents are too busy working from home to monitor their child’s gadget use. No wonder more and more kids are showing poor fine motor skills. It seems like “tapping” is their newest acquired skill.

What is fine motor skills?

In occupational therapy, we hear about this all the time. Most of the kids that I've worked with before has some difficulty with their fine motor skills. 

So what is it?

Fine motor skill is the ability to use the small muscles of the hands and fingers to show controlled movement in activities like playing with small lego blocks, manipulating puzzles, coloring with crayons, drawing, writing, cutting a paper, buttoning a shirt, using the spoon, and many many more.

So it's basically like this: children use this skill all the time-- in self-care, school and play activities.

Children show poor fine motor skills because of certain pre-existing conditions, or maybe they are just not given enough exposure to variety of materials. They were not given enough opportunities to handle them.

How do we improve fine motor skills?

Practice is the key. Just like any athletes training their muscles and refining their skills to be better, faster and stronger, children also need to practice their fine motor skills in order to prepare them for more advanced skills as they grow.

Materials that can improve fine motor skills are not limited to toys that can be bought in the stores. Even simple materials that you can find at home or school can be used as "tools of play".

Home and School Materials

  • clothespin
  • pre-cut straw
  • small puncher
  • recycled papers
  • clean shoelace
  • yarn
  • coins
  • rubber bands
  • masking tape
  • popsicle sticks



  • straw threading
  • paper threading
  • putting clips on paper
  • crumpling paper / wrapping small toys or coins with paper 
  • clipping clothespin on paper
  • shooting coins
  • punching small holes on paper with a small puncher
  • rescuing cars other toys taped on a hard board

Are you looking for tools of play to improve fine motor skills? Click on "chat with us" below or send us a message, and we will help you find the toy that matches your little one's needs.


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