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Guide to Fine Motor Skills - 1 to 2 Years

Guide to Fine Motor Skills - 1 to 2 Years logo

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Description

Give the child time to think and respond. Remember to reward with praise. All activities are to be carried out with adult supervision only.

Encouraging Fine Motor Skills at 12 to 15 Months

At 12 months, the baby starts to pick up objects with a neat pincer grasp. Reaching and grasping becomes coordinated into one smooth action.  

The baby begins to release toys (to give to others). They can hold two small toys (one in each hand) and bang them together to make a noise. They will deliberately drop and throw toys.

The baby is starting to point to body parts when asked.

The baby will place objects in and out of a cup or box (if shown how). This is the start of container play.  

Suggested objects to help develop fine motor skills at 12 to 15 Months:

  • 2-piece inset puzzles
  • A posting box with one hole
  • Boxes with lids (hide toys in the boxes)
  • Cause-and-effect toys
  • Container play (large metal bowls, buckets, boxes, saucepans, or any large container)
  • Finger rhymes (such as 'Round and Round the Garden' and 'Two Little Dickey-Birds')
  • iPad
  • Large objects for container play (bells, balls, cars, bricks, textured objects, spoons, keys, pegs, rattles, and other assorted objects)
  • Pointing at pictures books
  • Rings on a rod (such as bangles or curtain rings)
  • Stacking blocks (wooden bricks Duplo, stickle bricks, Lego)
  • Treasure  baskets

Encouraging Fine Motor Skills at 15 to 18 Months

At 15-18 months, the baby starts using toys more functionally. They can make a tower with objects. Using either hand, they can also pick up string (or other small objects) with a precise pincer grasp.   

The baby can take objects out of a container and replace large objects fairly precisely. They can grasp a crayon with their whole hand (using a palmer grasp). They can use either hand to imitate a to-and-fro scribble. They can also carry dolls by their limbs or clothing.

The baby can hold and drink from a cup and will attempt to take a spoon to their mouth. 

Suggested objects to help develop fine motor skills at 15 to 18 months:

  • 3-piece inset puzzles
  • A posting box with 2-3 holes
  • Books (card books and bath books)
  • Cause-and-effect toys
  • Container play (large metal bowls, buckets, boxes, saucepans, or any large container)
  • iPad
  • Small objects for container play (small balls, beads, counters buttons, or pebbles)
  • Stacking blocks (wooden bricks, Duplo, stickle bricks, and Lego)
  • Wax crayons, pencils, mark makers, felt-tips, and paint dabbers

Encouraging Fine Motor Skills at 18 to 21 Months

At 18-21 months, the baby will start to show a hand preference. The baby will begin to pick up small objects on sight and use a delicate pincer grasp.

When shown a book, the baby will point at pictures of interest and start to turn pages, several at a time.

The baby can hold a pencil in the middle (with their whole hand) in a pronated grip. They will use either hand alone but might sometimes hold pencils in both hands. They will make to-and-fro scribbles and dots.

Suggested objects to help develop fine motor skills at 18 to 21 months:

  • 5-6 piece inset puzzles
  • Books
  • Bricks
  • iPad
  • Mark-making objects
  • Posting box with 3-4 holes
  • Small world toys
  • Switches
  • Zips (up and down)

Encouraging Fine Motor Skills at 21 to 24 Months

At 21-24 months, the baby can build a tower of 3 cubes after a demonstration. They will place small objects in and out of containers, place rings on a rod, and large pegs in a peg board.   

The baby is starting to show a preference for using either their left or right hand. They will still throw objects to the floor in play or anger.

The baby can lift and hold a cup between both hands to drink and can take a spoon safely to their mouth. 

Suggested objects to help develop fine motor skills at 21 to 24 months:

  • A posting box with a key
  • Activity centres with handles
  • Beads and Buttons (with large holes)
  • Books
  • Bottle tops
  • Bricks
  • Finger-painting
  • iPad
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Play-Doh
  • Tea party set
  • Tennis balls
  • Threading (rods, thick rope, a washing line)
  • Water play
Locality
  • Brackley Area
  • Daventry Area
  • Northampton Area
  • Towcester Area
  • West Northamptonshire
  • Northamptonshire
Age range
Suitable for ages from 12 months to 24 months
For people with
Suitable for Everyone
Eligibility criteria
Age Range - Early Years
Provider category
Universal Services - Suitable for Everyone

Address

c/o The SEND Support Service (SSS), West Northamptonshire Council, One Angel Square, Angel Street
Northampton
Northamptonshire
NN1 1ED
United Kingdom

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Last updated 29 February 2024