Updated: Sep 14
During all my classes I try to teach lots of ways to play with your baby. One of my favourites is finger control activities!
It is really important that babies learn how to manipulate lots of different objects, it helps their fine finger control and their ability to develop different grips like palmer grasp (where they use their whole hand) and pincer grip (where they hold smaller items between a finger and their thumb).
How do fine motor skills help a baby ?
The development of fine motor skills helps your child with strengthening shoulder, arm, and hand muscles. The increasing skilled use of their hands and toys prepares your baby for completing everyday activities such as eating, dressing, and writing.
Ideas for play!
Choose 4 or 5 toys that are different textures and that your little one would hold differently and arrange an exploratory play session to help their fine finger control. You might choose a plush toy, a link, starlink, a music toy, a book, a block or a ball.
Check out our shop to buy our favourite toys ! (*aff links)
For non mobile babies open their little hands up and let them feel around corners, lie them on their side so both hands come together to play. O -balls are brilliant for little fingers to grab on to and super light weight too.
You could extend the play , by putting a scarf or material inside the O- ball for babies to feel and explore the texture and push, pull and grab too.
Babies who can sit up , place the toy in front of them, so they can use both hands to manipulate bigger objects and single hands for smaller items. Make sure they get an opportunity to use both hands. Let babies touch , feel, rotate and move the objects, talk to them about the colour, shape and what it is!
Can babies swap hands with the toy too? great for working on their midline and coordination!
Give babies two different texture toys to hold, one could be a noisy toy . Can babies shake, move and manipulate the toys, rotate through their fingers and clap together? This promotes learning and problem solving! Preparing the hands for daily activities, like getting dressed, undoing lids and opening objects.
Let me know if you try it. I'd love to see any pictures .
Want to learn more play ideas to do with your baby ? Join us for a class!
Our Nurture and play, Nurture stretch and play classes and Tiny Bear's sensory have a focus each week on new ideas to support your babies development through play.
Safety first -
These activities are suggestions of how to engage your baby in play. They need to be carried out with adult supervision and you taking full responsibility for your baby during play. Please ensure that your little one is supervised with the toy at all times. Keep your little one in arms reach and eye sight when they are playing.