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It’s time to get the kids outside playing! Here are 20 easy ideas for toddlers that are age-appropriate activities that involve eye-hand coordination, sensory play, and fine motor skills.
Table of contents for spring toddler fine motor activities
- Fine Motor Development for Toddlers
- Great Fine Motor Activities for Spring
- Are you looking for more toddler-friendly play ideas?
Fine Motor Development for Toddlers
Toddlers begin the important work of developing the small hand muscles for more complex tasks. Let’s take a look at what typical fine motor development looks like for toddlers. I’m defining this age as 18 months to 3 years old.
18 months old
- Puts rings on pegs
- Begins to hold a crayon with fingertips and thumb
- Removes pegs from a pegboard
- Marks or scribbles with a crayon or pencil
- Builds a tower 3-4 blocks high
- Opens loosely wrapped packages or containers
- Turns pages in a book one page at a time
24 months old (2 years old)
- Manipulates clay or play dough with fingers
- Builds a tower 9 blocks high
- Turns doorknobs
- Picks up small objects with pincer grasp (index finger and thumb)
- Completes a 3-piece puzzle
- Scribbles on paper
- Makes snips on paper with scissors
- Washes hands independently
- Screws lids on and off containers
- Strings large beads
- Zips and unzips large zippers
- Uses a spoon correctly
36 months old (3 years old)
- Cuts a piece of paper in half
- Copies pre-writing lines (vertical, horizontal, and circle shapes)
- Completes lacing cards
- Cuts along a wide line with 1/2″ accuracy
- Strings 1/2 inch beads
- Sorts objects by color, size, and/or types, etc
- Fastens and unfastens large buttons
To get a printable version of this list, check out my fine motor skills checklist for toddlers.
Great Fine Motor Activities for Spring
For this post, I am defining toddlers are ages 18 months to 3 years old. Always supervise your toddler with these activities and avoid any small items or ingredients they could put in their mouths that pose a choking hazard.
Let’s move on to the ideas.
1 || Fingerprint Art Seasons Cards from Planting Peas
These four seasons’ fingerprint art cards are adorable and a great way to have your toddlers create something special.
2 || Duck Race from Fantastic Fun & Learning
What is more fun than a duck race? Get the squeeze bottles out or use a long spoon to push your ducks along.
3 || Ladybug Fine Motor Play from Best Toys 4 Toddlers
Stickers are an amazing fine motor tool for toddlers. This ladybug sticker activity is perfect.
4 || Playing with Dandelions from Teaching Mama
Is your yard filled with dandelions? This is a really simple and cute activity for toddlers using dandelions.
5 || Cotton Ball Smash from Teaching Mama
Use the colors of spring and get those hammers out with this fun activity.
6 || Transferring & Scooping
I love transferring and scooping activities for toddlers. It’s a great way to practice grasp and other fine motor skills needed for practical life (everyday life skills) and future handwriting.
This is a great one that I found on Instagram. If you have a bug lover, this is an easy activity to set up with tongs.
View this post on Instagram
I also set up this easy pom-pom transfer with flower candy molds, perfect for spring.
7 || Planting Activities
Spring is synonymous with gardening and planting. Here are some cute ideas toddlers will love. Manipulating the seeds and digging in the dirt are great fine motor skills.
- Grass Head Pots from Non-Toy Gifts
- Cress Heads from Red Ted Art
- Planting Flowers from Teach Me Mommy
8 || Cutting Activities
Toddlers can begin to use scissors around the age of 2. These are some great spring fine motor activities with scissors.
- Cutting Grass – Simple Fun For Kids
- On the Farm Scissor Practice Packet
9 || Sensory Bins
Sensory bins are great for combining many skills into one activity. You can add lots of scooping and transferring tools with them to get some great fine motor practice. Here are a few ideas.
- Spring Sensory Bin for Toddlers from Happy Toddler Playtime
- Tulip Sensory Bin from Spring from Happy Toddler Playtime
- Flowers and Pom Poms Spring Sensory Bin from My Bored Toddler
10 || Pasta Flowers from Typically Simple
You can use dyed pasta or paint the pasta after you glue it on the activity. Find all the directions for this cute craft.
11 || Stamp and Button Flowers from Happy Hooligans
These are adorable, using corks as the stamp and finding colorful buttons to use as the centers of the flowers. I also love that the corks would be easy for toddlers to grasp and it makes great practice for pincer grasp.
12 || Yarn Wrapped Rainbow from Schooltime Snippets
These adorable yarn or colored string-wrapped rainbows would be perfect for practicing pinch strength with your toddlers. Plus it works on hand-eye coordination by figuring out how to wrap the yarn around the rainbow while holding it.
13 || Cotton Ball Sheep from Crafts on Sea
Cotton balls are great for toddlers to use with activities because they are easy to grasp. You can also add large tweezers to this for them to grab the cotton balls with to get in some extra grasping practice.
14 || Thumb-print Bunny Art from A Day of Glue Will Do
These thumb-print bunnies are absolutely adorable. And this activity will help work on thumb and finger isolation too!
15 || Make your own spring play dough from Pre-k Printable Fun
Play dough is a must-have when working on fine motor skills and these fun spring-themed play doughs would be a perfect addition. You can use it for this spring-themed invitation to plays also.
- Spring tree play dough invitation to play from Fantastic Fun and Learning
- Spring play dough invitation to create from Toddler At Play
16 || Button trees from How Wee Learn
These are technically set up for a fall activity, but it would be easy to change for spring by just switching out the colors of the buttons you use to brighter spring colors! It’s a super simple setup with pipe cleaners as the trunks. Perfect for practicing threading the beads which are great for eye-hand coordination and more.
17 || Eye dropper rainbow craft from Paper and Glue
This craft is so colorful and I love the use of the eye dropper which helps with pinching and finger strengthening. If you don’t have an eye dropper, you could use pipettes.
18 || 10 Spring Sensory Activities
Sensory play is a great way to add additional tactile input, plus fine motor activity practice into your day. I’ve rounded up 10 sensory activities in this post for you.
19 || Water Painting Flower Ice cube trays activity from Toddler At Play
This activity is so easy. You could have your toddlers help you gather the flower petals and pull them off the stem for even more fine motor and pincer grip practice.
20 || Spring fine motor activities tray from Little Bins for Little Hands
If you are looking for more open-ended activities, you can set up this spring-themed fine motor activities tray to encourage imagination and open-ended playtime. Adapt the parts as you need to for smaller children to avoid choking hazards.
Are you looking for more toddler-friendly play ideas?
My friend Angela wrote an ebook called The Toddler Journey. It includes a list of developmental milestones for toddlers, hands-on activities for sensory play, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, art, and more. Plus 100 toddler activities are categorized by age group!
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- 10 Spring Sensory Activities for Toddlers & Preschoolers
- Montessori-Inspired Spring Activities for Kids
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