Autism Parenting

Top Sensory Toys for Fine Motor Skills

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At 3 years old Kyson was still unable to hold a spoon properly. He would always grab the very tip of the spoon handle and try to scoop food which leads to frustration and hunger. We’ve tried heavier spoons and wide round handled spoons but it didn’t seem to help. We concluded that he didn’t have the strength in his little hands to be able to do so.

When it came to coloring with markers, he did the same. He eventually did hold the marker but ended up grasping the entire marker with a fist hold. Even with adjusting his fingers to the proper technique of thumb and index, he would fuss and undo it. It was uncomfortable for him. He held it just like a knife and constantly stab the marker to make dots on the paper. This started the path to build his strength up in his hands towards fine motor skills.

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Dots

Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscles in movements. Usually involving the hands and finger with the eyes.

Here are the top list sensory toys we’ve used to improve Kyson’s fine motor skills.

Kinetic Sand



Kinetic sand was Kyson’s first choice in “play” during therapy breaks. During break times, he always wanted sand. He received one from his Aunt for Christmas and we also happen to get him one too. Double the sand! The sets come with 1 lb., but you can get individual portions of the sand if you need more. It’s nice as the set comes with a tray and little utensils. Also, little molds to create with the sand. It’s moldable which makes it easy to clean up. Avoid the glitter, yes it’s pretty, but glitter tends to stick a little more on your hands and everywhere else when there’s a spill.

Play-Doh



Play-Doh is great, especially this set. We started off slowly by having him make a ball each session. Once we achieved that, we used the rolling pin to flatten the ball out. Kyson still loves to crumble them into tiny pieces and watch them fall. The accessories also include scissors. This is our next challenge as he is still uncomfortable with the positioning of his hands on the scissors. For easy cleanup, I use a large charger plate.


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Magnet Tiles Building Block



These magnet tiles are great for little hands. You can stack and build, a great way to use your imagination. After Kyson is done playing, I have him take the magnet pieces apart and we tower them up and box them away. The staking of the magnets has helped with eye-hand coordination.

UWANTME Water Beads


Water beads are great fun! We use it for more of a relaxing technique. From all the above small workouts on those little hand muscles, dipping your hands into a soothing tub of water beads is quite the enjoyment. Even I enjoy putting my hands in here and giving the beads a little wiggle. This set will last you quite a long time. We’ve made over 10 tubs already, like the one below and we still have more than half the jar.

Each time we play with these, we work with Kyson for only 10 minutes or so and the rest of the 30 minutes, he goes all out! We hope you enjoy our top sensory toys for strengthening little hands for fine motor skills.

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Complete Circles

-Anna MV

Anna MV

A Hmong woman practicing life finding art in everything. Blogger of Family, Life, Culture, Autism, Self Awarenes

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34 Comments

  1. I love toys. I am grown up so I cant play but I love reading about them.

    1. Thanks for reading!

  2. Joanna says:

    Incredible, thanks for sharing your amazing finds.

    1. You’re welcome ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. Kinetic sand is such a great toy for the kids. It is definitely a must for practicing fine motor skills.

    1. Yes, it’s our favorite!

  4. incalexandra says:

    What a fantastic post ๐Ÿ™‚ I really enjoyed reading it. I don’t have kids, but I will share this post with some of my friends who do.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, thanks sharing!

  5. What a great post! I, even as an adult, love kinetic sand!! Never too old to build sand castles!

    1. Agree, I enjoy it too! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  6. Brittnie says:

    I still donโ€™t get tired of playing with some of these with my nieces and nephews. Such great tips!

    1. Thanks!

  7. This is a great list of sensory toys! I love play doh for me ha! Thanks for sharing!

  8. These sound like a great selection of sensory toys. We love kinetic sand in our household.

    1. That’s great, thanks for reading!

  9. This is a really great list. If they can learn with toys, I am all for it!

  10. nieeesha123 says:

    So my daughter was holding markers with a fist for the longest time. One day she learned how to do the monkey bars and got blisters on her palm. It was like some kind of miracle! She started holding pens the right way so she wouldnโ€™t hurt her palms. Sheโ€™s been writing the correct way ever since. We also work on the pincher grip with beads and pipe cleaners stuck in play doh.

    -busytykes
    http://Www.busytykes.com

    1. That’s a great tip on the beads and pipe cleaners! We also used that in the early stages, thanks for sharing!

  11. Catherine Santiago Jose says:

    I’ve totally agree with everything you’ve note here. This is surely a great and good toys for our kids to develop themselves.

    1. Thanks!

  12. Hola Cheska says:

    I have seen a lot of these toys at Kmart and whether they are kind of expensive, they definitely serve the purpose to create creative and mindful kids.

  13. These are great recommendations. My kids always loves the kinetic sand.

  14. my son just got some of those magnets. it’s great you can buy more kits and no matter the brand, they all interconnect

    1. I didn’t know that, thanks for sharing!

  15. Fine Motor skills development is so important. It is great to use playtime for educational purposes as well.

    1. Agree ๐Ÿ˜Š

  16. My kids loved play-doh when they were younger! Such great ideas and suggestions for the young ones.

    1. Thanks Catherine!

  17. I love any motor skill toy that doesn’t involve a keyboard.

  18. All of these are incredible tools to help fine motor. We are at an age where we need to start building their skills so I may look into these.

  19. I don’t have any children of my own, but I used to work with some children with special needs, and we often did sensory play to develop hand and eye coordination skills. Good luck with rest of the development journey x

    1. Thank you!

  20. Playing seems such a banal activity for kids but it is ESSENTIAL for their developement! I’m glad you found these great toys to help Kyson in his fine motor skills! I will have it in mind ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Nati!

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