The 11 Best Toys for Fine Motor Skill Development of 2021

Help your baby reach their milestones

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Our Top Picks

TOMY Toomies Hide & Squeak Eggs at Amazon

"Little ones can take these eggs apart and put them back together, developing their fine motor skills and learning to match colors."

VTech Latches & Doors Busy Board at Amazon

"This learning board has five lock activities that will help further strengthen fine motor skills like twisting and turning."

Playskool Explore ‘N Grow Busy Gears at Amazon

"It comes with 11 brightly colored interchangeable gears, has plenty of buttons for kids to push, and plays songs and lights up."

Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog at Amazon

"Your kiddo will master small movements and also start learning how to sort colors and create patterns using the spikes."

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank at Amazon

"No matter the skill setting, kids will take the large coins and push them through a small slot on the piggy’s back."

Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube at Amazon

"The blocks fit neatly into a shape cutout on the cube, which requires the use of fine motor skills to accurately line them up."

Fisher-Price Monster Pop Up Surprise at Amazon

"Ideal for kids between up to three years old, they'll master small movements through little triggers that pop the monsters up."

Play 22 Activity Cube with Bead Maze at Amazon

"It features five different ways to play including a shape sorter, abacus counting beads, wire bead maze, and sliding flowers."

Step2 Ball Buddies Toddler Tunnel Tower Toy at Amazon

"Little ones can use the flippers to shoot the balls into the tower, which requires both aim and dexterity."

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Peek & Play Busy Garden at Amazon

"The toy lets kids pull, flip switches, spin, and turn different parts while it also plays music and teaches counting and colors."

Kids two years old and younger are constantly developing new skills and strengthening old ones. One of those major developmental areas is fine motor skills like the pincer grasp and other small hand gestures and movements. Kids start developing the skills on their own, but they only master them with a lot of practice, which is why toys that focus on fine motor skills are so great for encouraging these skills while still having fun.

You can help your little one strengthen their skills with one of these fantastic toys. 

Good to Know

You can refer to the CDC Developmental Milestone Chart to see what kinds of movements are appropriate for your child’s age. 

Our Top Picks

TOMY Toomies Hide & Squeak Eggs

TOMY Toomies Hide & Squeak Eggs

Courtesy of Amazon

Little ones 18 months old and up can take these eggs apart and put them back together. When the eggs are open, kids can push down on them to hear a squeak noise to further develop their small directed movements. In addition to fine motor skills, this toy also helps kids learn how to sort and match colors. Parents love that the egg carton makes post-playing cleanup and storage a breeze.

VTech Latches & Doors Busy Board

This learning board has five lock activities that will help strengthen your little one's fine motor skills like twisting, pulling, sliding, and turning. Designed for kids between 1 and 3 years old, this colorful toy goes beyond just fine motor skills as it also helps teach kids about different animals as well as numbers. Don't forget to grab three AA batteries to power up the song and light-up features.

Playskool Explore ‘N Grow Busy Gears

With this twisty toy, tots 12 months old and up can add or remove gear spokes to create their own little working machine, which they have to spin and turn in order to see come to life. It comes with 11 brightly colored interchangeable gears, has plenty of buttons for kids to push, and plays songs and lights up! It’s such a fun toy that they’ll never realize they’re learning and developing while they’re playing with it. 

Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

There are a lot of ways to learn with this single toy. The little hedgehog has 12 colorful spikes that are molded just right to make them easy for little hands to hold and pull out and then carefully put back into the empty hole. Not only will your kiddo really master those small movements, but they can also start learning how to sort colors, count, and create patterns using the spikes.  

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank

Tots between 6 and 36 months old can enjoy and learn from this toy piggy bank. It has three learning settings based on age which teach things like numbers, colors, speech, and animal sounds. As toddlers take large coins and push them through the small slot on the piggy’s back, they are using their focus, concentration, and fine motor skills. There’s also a flap on the piggy’s side that needs to be pulled down to access the coins that went through the slot and when the pig’s button nose is pressed, it will sing songs and talk. 

Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube

Shape sorters are a classic kids toy because they’re engaging and offer a lot of learning opportunities. This one is made completely from wood and has 12 blocks in different shapes and colors. The blocks fit neatly into a shape cutout on the cube, which requires the use of fine motor skills to accurately line up the block to the cutout. It’s best for kids 2 years old and up who are strengthening their motor skills. 

Fisher-Price Monster Pop Up Surprise

With just a push of a button, twist of a knob, or flip of a switch, your little one will be introduced to four little pop-up monsters. It’s made for kids between six months and three years old, helping them master small movements through little triggers that pop the monsters up, which they then have to push back down to play again. The toy also features several bright colors and numbers 1 through 4 to help sharpen their counting skills. 

Play 22 Activity Cube with Bead Maze

Kiddos 12 months old and up will definitely be entertained with this toy which features five different ways to play including a shape sorter, abacus counting beads, wire bead maze, spinning number blocks, and sliding flowers. Each way to play will help strengthen fine motor skills, among others like logic and reasoning, color identification, counting, and hand-eye coordination. 

Step2 Ball Buddies Toddler Tunnel Tower Toy

Complete with a tunnel tower, two trucks, 10 plastic play balls, and two ball flippers, your toddler will be immersed in hours of fun. They can use the flippers to shoot the balls into the tower, which requires aim and the dexterity to pull the flipper down and release it. The trucks are designed to carry the balls down the ramps once they’ve gone through the tunnel and have been released by twisting a little stopper. The toy is the perfect blend of learning and fun for kids between one and three years old. 

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Peek & Play Busy Garden

This cute little toy has seven different activities that are perfect for kids between 6 months and 3 years old. Kids can pull, flip switches, spin, push, and turn different parts that will help strengthen their fine motor skills. It also plays music and teaches things like counting, colors, and the alphabet using the three-stage learning system that allows the toy to advance as your child develops. 

Learning Resources Hoot the Fine Motor Owl

Hoot the Owl offers all kinds of fun challenges for kids 18 months old and up. It comes with five brightly colored coins, which are numbered and have different shapes cut out of them, that fit into a slot on top of the owl’s head. The owl’s eyes are little gears that kids can twist with their fingers, its beak squeaks with a little squeeze, and the wings flap by pulling two little circles on the front of the owl in toward each other. Not to mention, it’s really cute! 

Final Verdict

Finding the best toy for your child will depend on where they are developmentally. That said, for kids under one year old, the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Peek & Play Busy Garden is a great pick, and the Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog is a fun and engaging toy for tots 18 months and up.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a staff and freelance writer who covers lifestyle, home, parenting, and commerce content for a variety of platforms. She’s a mom to 1-year-old and 3-year-old daughters and an aunt to 3 nieces and 2 nephews ranging from 5 to 10 years old. Her one-year- old has several of these developmental toys at home including Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog, the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Piggy Bank, and the Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube.

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