Young Child Games – Improving Hand Eye Co Ordination in Toddlers

Improving co-ordination in Toddlers

Your toddler will naturally have busy hands but here are some young child games that are great fun as well as specifically working on hand skills. As her co-ordination and wrist control mature she will be able to take on more complex tasks. As you can see from the list below there are a huge range of young child games that promote finger and hand manipulation.

Poke, prod and pop
Toddlers love shape sorters, toys with keys and secret compartments as well as simple puzzles. Simple wooden tray puzzles are best to start with, initially with three or four pieces and then gradually becoming more difficult.

First puzzles need to have enough information on the base so that he can see where to place the pieces and in what direction. Shape sorters aid in his learning of colours, shapes and ofcourse spatial concepts- what fits where?

By the time she is two she will be able to build a tower of many blocks. It is better to start her off with cloth or wooden blocks as they are easier to stack. It is difficult for children of this age to manipulate some plastic building blocks and they can be chewed out of shape making them near impossible to connect together.

Skittles are good for indoors or out. They can be bought or easily be made with empty soft drink bottles. You will need about six which can be half filled with pebbles or dried beans. Arrange them in a triangle and let your youngster roll a small ball to see how many he can knock over.

Fishy Fun
Cut out cardboard fish of different shapes and sizes, paint them different colours and attach paper clips. Tie a magnet onto a piece of dowel and you have a great game for 2 and 3 year olds. Younger children will need your help but will enjoy helping you to catch the fish. For all age groups they can catch the fish while learning about colours, size, pairs etc.

Your toddler will really enjoy cuddling up with you to read a story but will also like to look at books on her own. Teaching toddlers to respect books at this age encourages them look after their property. Board and fabric books are easiest for them to handle. Save pop-up or lift the flap books for times when you sit down and read together.

Throwing and Catching
By using a beach ball you can begin to teach a very young child how to catch. Firstly almost place the ball in her hands. Her throwing will be quite arbitrary so applaud all attempts. As she better understand the game you can slowly increase the distance between you.

**TIP- You can also give toddlers scrunched up pieces of paper for them to practice throwing with. It might be a good time to introduce one room in the house in which they can throw, and the idea that only balls are for throwing (not precious vases or china!!).

Munch Munch
Your toddler will love to feed himself and will be gradually getting less food on his face and more in his mouth. Good foods to promote hand-eye co-ordination are sultanas, peas, and small pieces of carrot and bread.

Indoor Sand Pit

(or sandpits) are favorite play areas for 1-2 year olds but what can she do when its wet and freezing cold outside? If you don’t have room for an indoor water or sand table, which many of us don’t, there is a simple alternative.
Provide her with a saucepan, small jug, spoon, a few cups and some rice. She can still have fun pouring and you might even provid a small container of water so she can see whether it sinks or floats or both!

Dressing Up
All children love to dress up and it gives them valuable experiences in dressing themselves as well as imaginative play. Toddlers will prefer easy to remove items like hats, capes or a simple tabard. As he matures he will learn how to manipulate zippers, buttons and fastners.

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