Gross motor skills are movements that children make with their body, that require stable core muscles. These can include movements with their arms, legs, feet, things such as crawling, running and jumping. It’s about the body moving in a coordinated and controlled way. Fine motor skills are the smaller actions such as picking things up with fingers and thumbs, and later assembling, stacking and threading. If you’re wanting some ideas for ideal toys to develop the gross motor skills in your pre-schoolers and toddlers, please see below:
Baby Einstein 5-in-1 Journey of Discovery Activity Gym
This is perfect for a young baby, who will find it very entertaining. It allows them to have ‘tummy-time’ with interesting things to look at on the mat. The mat is a decent size, which means your baby won’t grow out of it too quickly. The gym is colourful and educational there’s lots that can be learned from it when the child is a bit older. There are dangling toys. The gym can also be converted into a ball pit (there’s a convenient bag to store the balls in when you don’t want it as a ball pit). The padding on the gym is of a nice quality. It’s easy to put together. There are toys that play music, so it’s very appealing to the senses with visual colours, images, sounds and touch.
ECR4Kids SoftZone Climb and Crawl Foam Play Set for Toddlers and Preschoolers (5-Piece)
These 5 foam shapes, are perfect for infants and toddler to climb, crawl and slide over. The shapes are safe for children, and each shape has a non-slip bottom to keep the shape in place. It’s perfect for pre-schoolers and toddlers to learn to move and play at home, daycare or in a classroom environment. If the surfaces need cleaning, they just wipe over. All the products are safe for children. It is recommended that children remove their shoes before using them. The product is robust and long lasting. The blocks are lightweight enough for children to push around and even stack.
Green Toys Tea Set – BPA Free, Phthalates Free Play Toys for Gross Motor, Fine Skills Development. Kitchen Toys.
All the parts in this set are safe for children and you could use them to give children milkshakes, or soups. The set contains a tea-pot, a sugar bowl with lid, 4 tea-cups with saucers, a milk jug and four spoons. The toy is designed for both gross and fine motor skills development. Children are able to arrange the pieces. The pieces can be cleaned in a dishwasher. It’s a sturdy toy, doesn’t scuff or scratch, it’s easy for children to handle the pieces. The colours are nice and gender neutral. The products are made from recycled plastic, so environmentally friendly too.
EMIDO 40 Pieces Jumbo Nuts Bolts Toy, STEM Toy, Kids Educational Enlightenment Toys, Occupational Therapy Autism. Safe Material for Kids – Matching Fine Motor Toy for Toddlers Preschoolers.
These nuts and bolts in this toy, are jumbo chunky pieces, and it allows children to match shapes and colours as they screw the nuts onto the bolts, they’re able to stack and build too. It allows for the development of skills such as manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, pairing, attention and focus, memory, concentration. It’s a good toy to get motor muscles working to screw and unscrew the nuts and bolts. The plastic used is approved and safe for children. There are 4 different shapes, and not all pieces fit together, so it does take some shape sorting which makes them interesting and challenging.
Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet Floral Arrangement Playset – BPA Free, Phthalates Free, Creative Play Toys for Gross Motors, Fine Motor Skill Development. Toys and Games.
This toy will help children to develop their pincer grip, improving the fine and gross motor skills. It’s a toy which allows children to be creative, making lilies, petunias and daisies, and the toy allows children to ‘stack’. The toy can be washed in a dish-washer. There are 44 brightly coloured, but not overly pink, parts to the toy, with stems, leaves, and flowers. It’s ideal for 1-3 year olds, older children may still enjoy playing with this. Children will try to stack the flowers as high as they can make them.
Out of these toys for fine and gross motor skills the Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet Floral Arrangement Playset is my favourite, because it allows for an element of creativity and artistic flair. The toy has the ability to be used over a range of age-groups too. It has good ‘stacking’ qualities, which are great to develop skills in children. This is closely followed by the Baby Einstein Discovery Activity, which I like because it contains so much in the way of activities when the baby is laid on its back or front, and it also doubles as a ball-pit; very versatile!