Gifts to Develop Fine-Motor and Perceptual

Visit Barbara's product suggestions

autism products





Home  Developmental Disabilities   Pediatrics    Geriatrics   Fun and Games  Hippotherapy   Resources                                                         
  fine-motor toys hand skill development visual motor development pediatric occupational therapy    

Babies, Toddlers and Two Year Olds

Toys to encourage Visual Attention, reaching and pointing

Books with black and white patterns


Cardboard or plastic,easy to turn books



Picture books with faces or simple objects

Water play mat

Toys to Encourage Reaching, Grasping, Pointing and Hand Movement

Books, tapes and videos with finger play songs

Busy blanket, boards or toys with exciting objects to pull,
press, roll,
squeeze and push.

Clutch Cube and other clutch toys

Drum and other toys to bang

Happy Apple and other weighted toys which start to topple
when pushed but then
right themselves. These are great while
the baby plays on the tummy.

Laugh and learn  Learning Tool Bench- child hammers or pushes
down a shape "nail".

Play pianos, push button telephones and other toys with buttons
to push producing sounds.

Pop and Spin Top- push down to make balls spin inside

Pop-In- Pals, Jack in the Box and other toys which involve activating a switch (like pushing a button) to produce an action (such as Jack in the Box popping up)

Pound a Ball

Rattles and mouthing toys to encourage grasping and exploring with the mouth.

Wrist or foot rattles so sound is made when arms or feet move.

Toys to encourage coordination using both  hands together

Cardboard stacking blocks

Duplo- Large Legos®

Fill and dump water and sand toys (pails, cups, spoons)

Nesting cups

Pop-it-beads (these large plastic beads snap together)

Ring Stacks

Scribbling on paper

Shape sorters

Wooden stringing Blocks

More Toys to Encourage Eye-Hand Coordination

Beads- large ones with stiff string

Form board with circle, square, triangle shapes

Peg Boards- large ones

Push button toys

Stacking blocks- large ones

back to top of page

Three Year Olds

Toys to Encourage Eye-hand Coordination and Perceptual Skills

Accordion tubes

Bathtub paint

Carpentry toy tools

Coloring inside a large stencil

Bowling pin toy set

Color Forms

"Dressy dolls" with fasteners

Finger paint

Finger puppets

Golf toy set

Loop squeeze scissors (easy to use, just squeeze)

Lotto (matching picture toys and games)

Magnetic letters, numbers and shapes and letters that stick in bathtub.

Mr. and Mrs Potato Head

Nesting cups

Peg boards with smaller pegs

Play dough with  toy knives, rolling pin, spaghetti maker.

Preschool crayons, fat chalk and  paint brushes

Scribbling and copying lines and circles- try "drawing" with index
finger in whip or shaving cream.

Shape sorters

Single Piece non-interlocking puzzles

Small stringing beads

Velcro food to "cut".

Water and paint books

 Water toys

Wind up toys with large knobs

Four and Five Year Olds

Toys to Encourage Eye-hand Coordination and Perceptual Skills

Activity books with large simple mazes, dots to connect, circle what is
different pictures, finding hidden pictures, color in the named shapes,
drawing lines to matching pairs.

Bead- smalloer with flimsier string, jewelry stringing kits

Books, tapes and videos with movement songs and sign language

Changeable markers

Clay/ Model Magic

Color Forms

Copying design patterns with mosaics, blocks, pegs, beads
(make jewelry),  geoboards.

Crafts kits including: glue, pipe cleaners, large paper clips, clothes pins,
cotton balls, scissors, paper.

Crayola Color Wonder- motivates to color using nonmessy materials

Creepy Crawlers- pour goop into mold, bake to make slimy creatures

Cut and glue books

Get-a-Grip Patterns

Glitter Glue

Glow in dark drawing boards

Ink stamps

Lacing cards

Legos® - More complex and smaller, Tinker toys,
Lincoln Logs, Knex and
other construction toys

Marble Run

Paper crafts- simple folding patterns

Paper weaving or place mat weaving kits

Peg boards with thinner pegs, stacking pegs, pegs that
are laced, size graduated, barrel pegs

Picture Perfect (find matching tiles to place on grid)

Pipe cleaner crafts

Preschool scissors and a snazzy variety of paper,
stiffer paper is easier to cut

Pretend kitchen supplies, carpentry tools and
household gadgets

Puzzles with 3 or more interlocking pieces

Snap Lock Beads

Sparkling Wheel

Spinning Tops

Stencils- coloring around borders or inside

Sticker books

Squirt toys


Wind up toys with smaller knobs

Writing Preparation Toys: Magnadoodle, art kits with
variety of  large thick
crayons, markers, chalk, brushes
with variety of paper and paint activities.

back to top of page

Preschool Games to develop coordination and concepts
(Some of these games may also be suitable for older children)

Ants in the Pants- Press down on ants to make them jump into pants.

Candy Land-requires matching

Chutes and Ladders- move pieces on board, no reading required.

Color Shape Bingo-teaches matching skills

Cootie- First player to finish building the strange creature wins.

Crazy Crab- a motorized game involving a large crab guarding pearls in the ocean. The players have to steal them by picking them up with large tongs that look like claws.

Crocodile dentist game- Players take turns counting teeth until the crocodile tries to give a friendly bite.

Don't Spill the Beans-requires children to try to and more beans to the
pot without it spilling.

Don't Wake Daddy- Uses a spinner and counting spaces while children try
to avoid waking daddy.

Elfin Game- trains visual tracking as your child nets butterflies flying out of the elephant's trunk.

Fishing Around Game- Children coordinate putting rods in moving fish mouths.

Hands Down- requires speed and visual matching

Hi Ho Cheerio-teaches counting skills

Hungry Hungry Hippos- Press a lever to feed opening mouths.

Monster Mash- discriminate which monster is different before mashing.

Mr. Caterpillar Alphabet Game- teaches letter recognition as children gather letter cards.

Mr. Potato Head Memory Game

Squiggly Worms- requires color matching

Swat That Fly- This game encourages tracking as the child  tries to swat a flies.

Toy darts.

Whack a Mole- when the mole pops up, the player whacks it.

back to top of page

Five Year Olds and Older

Toys to Encourage Eye-hand Coordination and Perceptual Skills

Activity books- crossword puzzles, anagrams, decoding,
Word Search, unscrambling words, Hang Man, Jotto)

Balloon Sculpture books and supplies

Color by Number Books

Cook books with pictures and numbered steps

Crafts kits- i.e. make a bird house, soap molding kit, etc.

Cut out dolls and other complex shapes

Dolls with complex clothing fasteners, squeeze clothespins to
hang out doll clothes

Ed Emberley learn to draw step by step books

Etch and Sketch


Hair braiding and other braiding or knot tying craft  kits

Hama beads

Hole punchers (hand squeezed and finger pushed punches)


Legoes and other construction toy kits with diagrams to follow

Leather Lacing

Musical instruments


Paper flakes cut outs

Paper mache kit

Pot Holder Weaving


Rubber Band ball kit
Scratch Art

Tissue Paper Flower crafts

Weaving crafts

Yo Yo's

back to top of page

Games to develop coordination and concepts 

Air Hockey

Barrel of Monkeys- players need to hook the next monkey to the bottom of the strand.

Battle Ship- Teaches graphing concepts

Bed Bugs


Blast Out- a motorized air power action game requiring keeping eyes on a ball while it is catapulted into a large cup and air pushes the ball up into another level.

Boggle- quickly write down words seen on a letter grid.

Booby Trap-requires players to gently remove a shape from the board
without moving the other pieces.

Card games (i.e. rummy, Spit, War, Crazy Eights)



Clue Junior and Clue

Connect Four


Dice Games


Don't Break the Ice- Players use a mallet to tap plastic pieces of
ice without the ice man falling through the openings.


Guess Who- Players need to find out who the friend's mystery
person is by eliminating all other possibilities.

Jacks- gather the jacks before catching the small ball.


Kerplunk- players attempt to remove sticks from the marble filled tube without losing any marbles.

Labyrinths- there are a variety of games on the market that are like three dimensional mazes.


Loopin Louie- a motorized flip-flopping flier game that requires visual tracking to follow Louie in his airplane as he flips around. The players try to keep him from knocking over the tokens by hitting him with a paddle.

Magic Tricks

Monopoly Junior and Monopoly

Mouse Trap- a constructed project is used to send a ball cascading.

Operation- Uses tongs to remove small body parts.



Perfection- quickly match shapes into a board before all pop out.

Pick-Up-Sticks- require removing a stick without touching any others.


Plunk a skunk- Whack  skunk heads as  they light up to score points.


Scrabble/Scrabble Junior

S'getti Scatter- Plastic spaghetti is in a bowl. Children remove pieces one by one without letting the plastic meatballs fall through to the bottom.

Simon- develops visual and auditory memory.

Slamwhiche- requires speed and matching skills.

Snafu- players push buttons and turn dials to speed a ball over a maze course.


String Games (i.e. Cat's Cradle)


Toss-Across- toss a bean bag into the board attempting to create a tic tac toe pattern.

Traffic Jam Junior and Traffic Jam-  Players maneuver vehicles
on a grid to get an ice cream truck out of traffic.

Trouble- move pegs on a a board according to number on mounted die.

Yahtzee-teaches math concepts

TV- B- Gone

back to top of page

©2008 Barbara Smith

Home  Developmental Disabilities   Pediatrics    Geriatrics   Fun and Games  Hippotherapy  Resources            

Custom Search