Wise men say great things start from small beginnings. So make sure your young ones get every bit of a head start that they can get. The most common motor skills that toddlers need are easily covered in walking, running, and jumping. We do not really need to talk about that as they are easily practiced in a toddler's daily lifestyle.
Let us focus on the equally vital fine motor skills. These include precise and skillful hand, finger, thumb, and wrist movements. This is because these fine motor skills branch into other vital physical and mental skills. This idea is what drives toys for toddlers. For example, stacking blocks may be seem like a simple process for grown-ups but in reality, toddlers learn how to pick up the blocks and figure out where to stack them while maintaining balance.
Drawing - While your child may not be a mini-Monet when it comes to drawing, it is important that you encourage "writing" and "drawing" exercises. As the process continues, little marks or dots will become lines and circles! Using crayons to draw or color helps promote these fine motor skills. The toddler has to grasp the crayon well, and apply a certain amount of force to get either a dark shade or a light shade. The colors as a bonus allow him or her to explore his or her imagination.
Putting on Clothes - Putting on clothes is a quite a complex task. The toddler has to fit his arms into sleeves, snap belts into their buckles, clasp hooks and eyes for skirts, and button buttons. Putting clothes on improves finger and hand coordination. Experiment with all sorts of clothes but take things slowly as to not overwhelm your toddler.
Playing with Toys - As was mentioned earlier, stacking blocks is an excellent learning tool. Other toys to explore include placing colored rings on poles, putting the right shapes into special holes, etc. To make toys more interesting, provide your child with toys of various sizes, colors, and sizes. Also include several materials for building and manipulating. Bead-stringing and dribbling balls are also activities to look out for.
Sensing Activities - Toddlers love to poke and touch things. They also enjoy tasting and smelling objects, so make sure the materials you give him or her are non-toxic. One of the best ways to promote fine motor skills is to allow your child to play with non-toxic clay! The toddler can mold whatever shape he likes which builds on his imagination and hand coordination skills. You can add plastic cookie cutters to the mix too allowing your toddlers to create more technical shapes!
Introducing other textures help as well. For example, allowing your child to play in a sandbox. A toddler can spend hours creating feeling around the sand box and creating special structures. Another avenue to explore is playing in the pool. Being in the water helps toddlers learn about floating and sinking. Splashing around in the water is loads of fun as well! This activity requires a lot of supervision though.
A lot of our day to day activities seem really simple but can be very educational for toddlers. The abovementioned are only a few examples, so give them a try and maybe invent your own techniques to promote fine motor skills.