3 inexpensive fine motor activities for toddlers

Inside: Find instructions how to make 3 simple fine motor activities for toddlers on your own in no time. 

If you like to make things than you will love these 3 simple toys you can make for your toddler. These are activities age appropriate for 1 year olds and also great for fine motor development, concentration and curiosity. So many benefits from inexpensive homemade toys.

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Fine motor activities for toddlers you can make

Sensory development is very important for babies and they start very early to explore with their little hands. You can easily gather some household objects and they will happily play and explore them for hours.

Collecting old food canisters is a good thing if you plan to make stacking toys, sorting toys or making kids crafts.

For this project I used old canisters from cocoa and bread crumbs as they are big enough and sturdy, plus they have soft plastic lids and is very easy to work with them.

A fun fact about baby’s touch 

“After birth, touch sensitivity develops faster in the left hand than the right hand.  This is because because our right brain is really good at processing information about shapes and spatial properties.
Newborn girls are more touch sensitive than boys, and this often lasts throughout life as well. Females can sense lighter touches.  However, boys show a bigger difference between left/right side sensitivity than girls.” 



Tactile ribbon tugging toy and fine motor activity

Simple tactile ribbon tugging toy is a great toy for learning cause and effect by pulling ribbons on one side, watching them disappearing on the other side. It is also beneficial for muscle strength and grasping with little fingers.

Tactile Ribbon Tugging Toy

I collected my ribbons making sure that I have different textures, colours and materials which will benefit sensory exploration. Then I’ve marked where wholes will go and made a cut with scalpel.

After painting and drying I threaded ribbons throughout the holes. At this moment I had to adjust some of the holes because some ribbons were bigger. So the ribbons were coming in from one side and out  on the opposite side.

In the end I knotted ends securely so that they can’t come out.

I didn’t use lid in this tactile toy but for sure you can make holes in the lid as well and thread ribbons somewhere on the side. It will be harder to pull them out which is good exercise to strengthen little muscles.

Dropping toys for practicing fine motor development

I made two dropping toys, using small and big canister, also one with small and other with big holes. It is a great activity for learning about object permanence as she put all pieces in to canisters.

DIY Dropping toy out of old canisters

For these dropping toys I’ve used Mod Podge glue and wrapping paper which was pretty quick technique to cover all surfaces.

I’ve cut a slot into the plastic lid and took unfinished wooden peg dolls for that container. Hole was a bit bigger to make it easier. For the other one I’ve used cacao canister which was perfect fit for popsicle sticks.

I cut 4 slots into the lid with slightly different sizes. Small holes and thin popsicle sticks require more precision which will improve fine motor skills.

If you wanna make more tactile toys for your toddler here are some ideas. For dropping objects you may use jar lids, pom-poms, wooden balls and other small objects from the house (be extra careful with small pieces as they can become choking hazard).

For preschoolers you may place numbers on jar lids to tech about numbers and counting.

DIY Motor Skills Toys

Another great homemade fine motor skills toy is Button Snake made of ribbon and felt scraps.


Motor Skill Activities


If you find these toys fun to make please take a moment and share it with someone who would benefit from making them too.

DIY fine motor toys for toddlers that you can make easily repurposing old containers.



Lily Zunic

I believe every person is creative and every craft project is beautiful when you create for the journey of your heart.

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