Top Ten Gift Ideas for Kids with Fine Motor Skills Needs.


Let us help you find that perfect gift!
Are you looking for a good gift for someone with special needs? Are you a caregiver of a child with fine motor skills issues? These gifts will help you, help them at the holidays or any day of the year that they need a smile!

1- Lite Brite Flat screen This is an excellent toy for all ages. Simply place black paper or special picture templates on the toy and plug in colorful pegs, that when lit make lovely light pictures. It forces fingers to pick up tiny objects and place them in specific holes. This flat version is easier for all ages to enjoy. (Adult supervision may be necessary.)
2- Self-Opening Scissors– This great version, made for a right or left hander, is a great skill to build up those hand muscles, but if it’s for 3 to 5 year olds you need to make sure you have adequate supervision. With some construction paper it can provide hours of fun! Make shapes and with the addition of a glue stick, expand and make crafts.
3- Easel and Pencil grips. The angled surface forces smaller hands and larger hands alike to abandon fisting a pencil or chunky crayon and use a more correct handling. Pencil grips make the holding part easier, too! Some easels clip to the back of a door frame or come with neat accessories, but plain angled ones are simply divine!
4- Sewing Cards These are great! They come in kits for all ages! Kids love the characters and sense of accomplishment and most are completely reusable! You get cards, strings and a safety plastic threader or needle. You line up cards or simply choose a single card and sew through the pre-punched holes. You could hang them up for ornamentation or unthread them for more hours of fun! These are excellent on long trips, too!
5- Small Legos Smaller building blocks force hands to use a good grip, without fisting in order to build projects and freeform shapes. They come in appropriate smaller sizes for all ages. Larger blocks are fun to start with, but only offer gross motor skill development, where the smaller versions work finger grip. The best part is you never outgrow them. I know a 50 year-old grandfather who likes them more than my son!
6- Origami sets. This is great for the 6 and up set. It requires following instructions and attention, with the careful folding skills that make this a true art. They not only work on important skills, but your child will have great things to show for his work! You can hang them around their room and give them a real sense of pride!
7- Model kits. Cars, dinosaurs, miniature houses, depending on the age and your budget, there is no limit to this suggestion! (Not suitable for the younger set, but 3-D puzzle sets may be a good alternative.) You can even turn this into a real hobby. (Caution: It’s addictive!!)
8- Magnadoodle or Aquadoodle With either magnets or a harmless water pen, these come in regular or travel sizes and encourage proper penmanship and imagination! The magnadoodle come with shapes, and in variety of colors and shapes, depending on what is available where you are. The Aquadoodle mats are mats that color with plain tap water fed pens and dry shortly after for hours of fun.
9- Latches boards. My son has had one of these from Melissa and Doug toys since he was 1 ½ years old and never gets tired of it! His little fingers work hard to move the latches and open secret panels. They come in tables or board form from several companies and are an excellent long term choice! Most are real wood with brass latches and locks. (This may not be suitable for children with other learning or developmental issues, where teaching them this skill may prove hazardous to their safety.)
10- Beginner’s Crochet and Knitting kits. Not only do they learn better coordination, patience and fine motor skills, but they usually have something wonderful to share or show to others. Maybe next holiday season they’ll be making everyone a gift and start a great tradition! They come in all age ranges, skill levels and activity sets. Stock up on fashion and fun yarns and watch the imagination go! This is good for long trips with older children.
To find these gifts and others please visit:

© 2008 by Jennifer Altherr,

  • Wow!! All these are lovely gift ideas!!

  • Great ideas for kid gifts!