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Developing Fine Motor Skills in Toddlers Part 1

Noah’s fine motor skills aren’t very good at the moment, and a friend of mine recommended that I get the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Latches Board as well as the Basic Skills Board. There are plenty of other things that we can do together to help him improve his fine motor skills, but this boy has a mind of his own, and hasn’t been very keen to spend time doing things like stuffing pom-pom balls into bottles. 

I was pretty skeptical about letting him play with the two boards initially, as they are meant for ages 3 and up, but because C was headed to the US, I thought it would save us some money if he got them there. I planned to keep them in their original packaging, bring them back to Singapore, and only give them to Noah next year, but when he saw them, he asked to play with them immediately.


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I thought he would lose interest in the boards after a while, but to my surprise, he often pulls them out of their storage shelf, and sits quietly in the living room to play with them. He is better with the Latches than the Basic Skills, though all he usually does is undo the latches, but leave most of the panels unopened. I suspect he doesn’t know how to lift up the wooden panels, as he is quite happy to kiss or say hi to the animals behind the doors when we open them for him.

Playing with the Latches Board 


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The Basic Skills Board is also a puzzle board, but Noah only wants to throw the pieces around, then step on them, instead of putting them back onto the board. At the moment, out of the six items, he can only pull open the snap button and unzip the zipper. I’m still trying to teach him to press the snap button shut, but he’s not very good at it yet.

Playing with the Basic Skills Board 


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More interested in kissing the bear on the board than playing with the pieces 


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We also have the Caterpillar Gear Toy and Rainbow Stacker, but even though both are probably more suitable for his age, we didn’t bring them to Adelaide with us. These two toys are supposed to be good for promoting colour recognition, hand/eye coordination, and fine motor skills, and I like how brightly coloured they are.



I really love the Melissa & Doug range of educational toys, because they are made of wood, colourful, and the workmanship is good, which means I don’t have to worry that Noah will get injured by stray wood splinters.

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