Best Fine Motor Skills Toys for 12-18 Months Toddlers

What do selecting a blueberry, turning a doorknob, and constructing a block tower have in common? They all involve fine motor abilities, which are an important element of your child’s development that will really take off throughout the toddler years.

Your toddler is ready to take fine motor skills to the next level as they grow and gain more control over their hands, fingers, and wrists. While your baby’s fine motor development included basic things like grabbing, reaching, and raking, your toddler is ready to take fine motor skills to the next level as they grow and gain more control over their hands, fingers, and wrists. Toys are an excellent method to encourage their growth and help them build the fine motor skills they’ll need as they get older.

Fine Motor Skills in the Toddler Years

Between the first and second years of life, your toddler’s fine motor skills will really take off. As your child approaches two and beyond, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping an eye out for the following hand and finger skill milestones.

12 to 18 months

  • Pincer grasp is mastered (picking up objects between thumb and forefinger)
  • Can build a skyscraper up to four blocks.
  • Able to cover and uncover boxes or containers.
  • Picks up moving objects (balls, etc.)
  • Turns knobs and pages, and inserts spherical pegs into holes that match.
  • Paints and scribbles

18 months to 2 years

  • When shown how to fold paper, he or she does so.
  • Places huge square pegs in holes that are the same size.
  • Can stack upto five to six bricks.
  • Able to disassemble and reassemble toys.
  • Makes clay sculptures

2+ years

  • Manipulates small items with ease.
  • Can unzip a huge zipper Builds a six-block or taller skyscraper
  • Removes shoes
  • Turn doorknobs, remove a jar lid, and so on, coordinate wrist and hand movements.
  • Begins to hold a crayon or pencil appropriately.

These 11 toys are so entertaining that your child won’t even notice they’re developing important developmental skills.

11 Best Motor Skills Toys For 12-18 Months Toddlers

1. Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

I was instantly smitten by this brightly colored hedgehog, as was my toddler. Spike the Hedgehog is a new take on the old peg toy, which aids in the development of fine motor skills in children. Your child will have a lot of fun practicing inserting the peg-shaped “quills” into the holes on Spike’s back. (Repeatedly.) Along the process, they’ll learn about color recognition, counting, and sorting. The quills also nestle neatly into the hedgehog’s body for simple storage when they’re not in use.

2. Hape Build Up & Away Blocks

Hape Build Up & Away Blocks

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Every child’s playroom should have a set of blocks. Blocks have a plethora of developmental benefits, ranging from aiding spatial abilities to promoting open-ended play—but they’re particularly beneficial for developing fine motor skills.

This bright 50-piece set will keep your child occupied for hours as they construct, imagine, stack (and, of course, knock down). From toddler years to big kid years, they’ll grow with your little one. They’re also composed of high-quality, non-toxic materials and may be stored in the canvas bag that comes with them.

3. Skoolzy Rainbow Counting Bears with Matching Sorting Cups and Dice

Skoolzy Rainbow Counting Bears with Matching Sorting Cups and Dice

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

These colossal plastic bears appear to be simple, but they are far from it. Every engagement with these bright bears is an opportunity for your toddler to concentrate on strengthening their fine motor skills as they manipulate the bears whichever they choose.

Keep in mind that if your child is still putting items in their mouth, this isn’t the toy for them. Each bear is roughly an inch tall and about an inch wide, and they can be a choking hazard for little children, so keep an eye on your child when they’re playing with these.

4. TouchThinkLearn: ABC

TouchThinkLearn ABC

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Can a book help you improve your fine motor skills? Yes, absolutely. Turning pages is a milestone that younger toddlers will look forward to reaching. This one is a board book with thick pages, so there won’t be any rips or tears. Raised, die-cut pieces nested in mirroring cutouts enhance tactile stimulation, adding an added layer of developmental pleasure to the mix.

5. Melissa & Doug Wooden Latches Board

Melissa & Doug Wooden Latches Board

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

You know how toddlers can’t get enough of certain toys? The ones that are played over and again for months, if not years? One of those toys is this latch board.

This play board is jam-packed with numerous latches and hooks that will keep your toddler’s attention and help them develop fine motor skills as they figure out how to open and close the windows. Every wooden window has a surprise hidden behind it, as each latch opens and closes differently.

6. Fat Brain Toys SpinAgain

Fat Brain Toys SpinAgain

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Stacking toys are great for developing and refining fine motor skills, and this one takes the conventional stacker to a whole new level—literally. Toddlers will enjoy dropping each bright disc down the threaded corkscrew pole and watching it spin to the bottom over and over. The SpinAgain is also equally interesting for younger and older toddlers.

7. Hape Creative Peg Puzzle

Hape Creative Peg Puzzle

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Traditional puzzles are excellent for developing fine motor skills, and this Montessori-inspired one takes things a step further by adding a few more layers of complexity. The four puzzle bases are joined together and the forms are twisted onto the grooved pegged posts in this one-of-a-kind design. This puzzle provides plenty of opportunities for fine motor skill development, and the varied levels of difficulty make it suitable for both older and younger toddlers.

8. Learning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set

Learning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

To interest your child in fine motor play, you may only need a few simple tools. Combine these four instruments with a bin of water beads, kinetic sand, or even snow, as well as some animal figurines, and watch your child have a blast. They won’t even realize they’re honing their talents while playing, tinkering, and learning.

9. Playskool Classic Dressy Kids Plush

Playskool Classic Dressy Kids Plush

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Learning to zip, tie, button, and buckle are not only fine motor milestones for toddlers, but also important everyday life skills. This big plush is perfect for your little one to practice “getting ready” again and over. Another significant bonus is that it’s machine washable.

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