This week we have been working on Ollie’s fine motor skills with some posting and threading activities. They’re all easy to set up using items you already have around the house.
He’s loved them all which is great as we all know how hard it can be to entertain a toddler for free!
Ollie is very into sorting, organising and posting things at the minute. I’ve lost count of the times he’s emptied the washing basket only to put the clothes back in. Or the weird and wonderful items I’ve found stuffed in my handbag or boots.
So I came up with a few posting and threading activities to keep him entertained and out of mischief.
I started off with a few empty tins and some plastic discs – yes they are poker chips – but they’re the perfect size and pretty sturdy! Why waste money when you can use what you’ve already got!
As soon as he heard the noise they made he decided to put the lid on and shake the tins up. He then liked transferring them from one tin to another. It entertained him for a good half an hour but I could see it wasn’t interesting enough to keep his attention for long.
So to entertain him and develop his concentration and fine motor skills further we tried a few more activities:
Make Your Own Postbox
To give him a bit more of a challenge, I made a little postbox for the plastic discs. I just found a cardboard box and cut a slot in it. He didn’t get it right away but after I showed him how to post the discs, he loved it! He stopped after posting each one to clap for himself. I cut the slot to just the right size for the discs so he had to really work to make sure he had them at the right angle.
Pipe Cleaners In A Bottle
This is a great threading activity for toddlers as it requires concentration, problem solving and fine motor skills. Just fill an empty plastic bottle with pipe cleaners and let them pull them out and thread them back in. You could adapt this for different stages by using bottles with wider or narrower openings. If your little one finds it too tricky with pipe cleaners, try using straws first.
Another great activity for developing fine motor skills. I first used pipe cleaners, which I threaded into the holes of the colander. I let Ollie pull them out and try to thread them back in. He found it a bit too difficult at 15 months, so I used plastic straws as they’re a bit sturdier and don’t require as much hand control.
He looked so proud of himself after threading each one into the holes! I’ve never seen him sit still doing the same activity for so long, so we will definitely be doing this again!
A few weeks later and his fine motor skills have improved so much he has moved on to the pipe cleaners. He can now thread them in by himself.
Because Ollie seemed so interested in each of the above activities, I’ve been on the lookout for a sorting and posting toy. I found this little bargain in a charity shop for only £2!!!
It’s the perfect toy for him as it gives him the chance to sort shapes and post them through the correct slots. At the minute he has to be shown which hole each shape goes into. I think as he gets older this toy will grow with him. He’ll learn to recognise the shapes and learn their names, and learn the colours to so it was a pretty good find!