Sunday, 7 September 2014

Keeping Little Hands Busy - Fine Motor Development Ideas for Toddlers

Today we have the lovely (and super clever) Sarah from Little Nest Busy Bags here to give you some ideas for keeping your little ones busy - goodness knows I need all the ideas I can get with a very active toddler on my hands...
As a mother of three boys under the age of 3, I am always looking for ways to keep my eldest occupied while I run around after his younger brothers!  Last year I launched "Little Nest Busy Bags" after discovering the Busy Bag concept of self-contained, portable, educational activities that keep your little ones occupied for short bursts of time.  Although I worked as an accountant before having children, my inner creative urges have finally found the perfect outlet in developing and creating my own unique Busy Bags for toddlers and pre-schoolers.
My Busy Bags are designed to help develop Alphabet, Counting, Colour, Patterning and Fine Motor Skills.  Some activities are better suited to toddlers aged 2 to 3 years, whilst other Busy Bags are aimed at pre-schoolers aged 4 to 5 years.  My oldest son is 29 months old and he has been enjoying playing with my Busy Bags since he turned 2.  It has been great to see the improvement in his ability to name colours, manipulate small objects and count to ten.
Fine motor development is a very important part of a child's physical skill set and the level of fine motor control is used to determine their developmental age.  Fine motor skills develop as the neurological system matures and by the age of 6 years, a child's fine motor skills have developed sufficiently to complete writing, dressing and feeding tasks.  It follows that the first 6 years of a child's life are vitally important for developing fine motor skills through toys, games and activities.
Playing with Play Dough is a fantastic way to help your child develop their fine motor skills and it also promotes imaginative play.  It is so simple to make your own Play Dough and the 'no-cook' recipes mean that you can whip up a batch in a matter of minutes.  It is great fun experimenting with different colours, scents and glitter!  

Sebastian's love for Play Dough inspired me to create a "Play Dough Kit" for him which contains everything we might need for a Play Dough session.  I found the perfect stackable storage case at K-mart and filled it with a rolling pin, cutters, matchbox cars, miniature plastic figures, glass pebbles, buttons, silicone cake cases, googly eyes, shell beads and popsicle sticks.  We use our "Play Dough Kit" every day without fail, and sometimes Seb wants to decorate Play Dough cakes, whilst other times he just wants to drive his matchbox cars across rolled out pieces of Play Dough!

I have created a compact "Play Dough Tool Kit" which can be purchased via my Etsy shop.  It contains a wonderful assortment of items to promote some truly imaginative play.

I have a whole host of Busy Bags which specifically target fine motor skills and provide toddlers and pre-schoolers with an excellent opportunity to practice this important area of development.
The "Australian Animals" and "Jungle Animals" Busy Bags are Colour/Type sorting activities featuring adorable plastic animal counters, but they also include a pair of Gator Tweezers for picking up the counters and developing fine motor skills.
One of the newest additions to my range is the "Koala Trailer" Busy Bag.  Although it is primarily a patterning activity, it requires your child to carefully place the koala counters in the plastic trailer and hence practice their fine motor skills.
The "Nuts & Bolts" Busy Bag is another activity designed to develop fine motor skills.  It contains 4 nuts and 4 bolts which must be matched on the basis of shape; only matching shaped nuts and bolts will fit together. 

A BIG thanks to Sarah for sharing some of her amazing ideas and products which can be purchased via her Etsy Shop. Mr B has several Little Nest busy bags and they have truly been a lifesaver whilst having a baby to feed and a toddler to occupy! If you are not sure what products would be best for your child, Sarah is amazing at offering up advice for your child's age and stage.

Sarah is also very kindly offering Utterly Organised followers Free Delivery on orders over $50 from her Etsy Shop using promotional code FREEDEL50 at the checkout, so it is a brilliant time to buy with Christmas (and long and short haul trips) so close!

And we will also have a giveaway starting tomorrow, so stay tuned for that! 

What activities do you do at home with your Toddlers that they love?

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