If you’re a new parent, there are a hundred things running through your mind right now. Every waking minute seems to be spent trying to get the very best of everything for the kids – the most nutritious meals, the sweetest memories, and the most engaging activities. The first five years are the most important, after all.

One of the most important skills your baby will master in her or his first few years are fine motor skills. These are small movements of the wrist and fingers in coordination with their eyes, enabling them to pick up small objects between their thumb and forefinger, write and colour carefully, and, eventually, perform more intricate actions like buttoning their shirts.

So, if you’re looking for activities to engage your child in, while also fine-tuning their motor skills, here are 4 that IKEA experts recommend you try:

1. Lacing Beads

Get your hands on some big beads and a long string and give them to your child. Ask her or him to lace them up one by one. This requires them to concentrate, use fine motor skills and, additionally, keeps the little one occupied for a good chunk of time.

2. Hole Punching

Take a piece of cardboard or a carton and punch holes in it. Give your kids straws and some dice. Your kid rolls the dice and pushes as many straws through the holes as the dice shows. This activity is great for motor-skill building as well as practising simple math. If you have more than one child, this game can easily be turned into a competition.

3. Play Dough fun

If your child is old enough to be trusted not to swallow buttons, give them a handful and ask them to hide the buttons in play dough. Then ask them to dig them back out! You could also get your kids to make eggs out of play dough and decorate them with various things like shells, buttons, pasta or sequins. These games are delightful and help strengthen hand muscles – win-win, as we would say!

4. Drop game

This game is super simple and lots of fun, and encourages simple counting and sorting maths skills.  Paint a thin band of colour around some cups (re-use old ones if need be) – one colour per cup. Also, take buttons in those same colours. Next, prepare little chits of paper with various numbers and place them in another cup. Put the coloured buttons in a basket and put everything on a table or carpet. The kids need to pick a chit and then drop the corresponding number of coloured buttons in the corresponding coloured cup. It’s a great way to build memory, teach math and grow their fine motor skills!


These games will have those little fingers trained in no time! Have fun!

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