Fine motor activities and babies typically don’t go well together. So often fine motor activities include small pieces which can be hazardous to babies and toddlers who are prone to putting things in the mouth. Today, I’m sharing a fine motor activity that includes small pieces that is still appropriate for baby.
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As I stated, creating fine motor activities for babies can be difficult. While there is a wealth of resources to work from for older toddlers and preschoolers,(check out my fine motor Pinterest board), what about babies and at “in between” age? Kent is fifteen months and still quite prone to putting just about everything in his mouth, so I came up with this simple activity that would be safe for him. Please understand that an adult should supervise all fine motor activities, including this one. Young children and babies should never be left unattended during fine motor play.
The set-up is as simple as it gets. Grab some baby safe cups and some o shaped cereal in a baby safe bowl. Now, invite your baby to transfer the o shaped cereal from the bowl to the cups. I modeled for Kent a few times, but ultimately let him play as he pleased. It never works to tell a 15 month old what to do. 😉
The act of transferring the cereal encouraged Kent to use a pincher grasp to pick up the cereal and put it into a cup, and he quickly set to work. This idea actually came to me one day as I was watching Kent eat his dinner. He was very deliberately placing his peas on the spout of his sippy cup (Munchkin Click Lock Sippy Cup, afiliate link) before he ate them. Similar action, but this activity is more fun because Kent also liked listening to the clunk the cereal made as it fell to the bottom of the cup.
And this photo is the reason why I opted for cereal instead of another small object, like beads, buttons, or beans typically used for fine motor practice for preschoolers. I knew whatever small pieces I chose to use would end up in Kent’s mouth, so I had better made it edible and safe for him to eat. By this time, Kent has been solely on solids for almost seven months, so I have little to worry about when offering an activity including o shaped cereal. But remember, all baby activities should be supervised by an adult.
Baby can even be challenged more by offering bottles instead of a cup. The smaller hole to drop the cereal into will encourage baby to really focus and develop his coordination and aim. Either way, this fine motor activity for baby is crazy easy, but it is also crazy effective. And, your baby will love it!
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I am Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home mama of five! I am the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught range of levels, including preschool and college, and a little bit of just about everything in between. Right now, my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction