Those of you who are familiar with Wiwiurka will know that we make children’s play furniture designed to promote gross motor development through play which involves a lot of climbing, sliding, and rocking. We strive to make toys and play furniture for children that promote as well imaginative play, sensory stimuli, and even cooperative play; we are convinced that children that are able to give way to their gross motor development through play are also setting the foundation for a proper development of their fine motor skills when the stage arrives.
We’re taking a look at the toys that Wiwiurka creates aimed towards the development of fine motor skills in young children.
But before we get into the toys’ details, let us first talk a little about the difference and the relationship between gross and fine motor skills.
Gross motor development
Gross motor development is the foundation of any movement that involves our large muscles, from general basics like being able to move around (walking, crawling, running, swimming, climbing) to activities like sweeping, playing sports or gardening. Most adults use these skills without even thinking about it, however, gross motor skills are rather complex and developed in early childhood.
Furthermore, gross motor skills also form the basis for fine motor skills, which help us make small and very controlled movements.
These skills involve the coordination of the muscles and the neurological system and are crucial for balance, body awareness, physical strength, reaction time and movement coordination.
Fine motor development.
Fine motor skills involve the use of smaller muscles, especially the muscles in our hands. They are needed for common childhood activities such as using pencils, scissors, buttons, painting with a brush or even opening a lunch box. As we grow and develop our fine motor skills, these become the basis for all sorts of complex activities such as drawing, embroidering, typing on a keyboard or even performing surgery!
Everything we do with the refined training of our hands and fingers is accomplished through the development of our fine motor skills.
So let us take a look at the toys we make at Wiwiurka which are focused on children’s fine motor development.
Fine motor skills link up with cognitive skills such as problem-solving, analytical reasoning and of course, reading and writing. This means that participating in activities that develop a child’s fine motor skills will promote other cognitive skills at the same time, and this feedback loop between these two aspects of development is very good for children, and lots of fun for them too!
Play- clips are a classic in Waldorf toys, these handcrafted wooden fun clips can easily be incorporated in imaginative and creative play. Play-clips are a staple toy in Waldorf early childhood classrooms all over the world.
Children can use them for building forts by draping play-silks or decorative clothes over chairs or our climbing pieces, such as the climbing Pikler triangle. We sell them in pairs along with their rubber bands, but if you want to use them for fort-building, we suggest using two pairs of clips.
These play- clips are chunky and smooth, made with quality pine wood; this makes them ideal for the little hands of toddlers to manipulate and further develop their fine motor skills. Grip, finger-stretching control and hand grasp are promoted when a child is using these clips.
Waldorf play-clips are recommended as fine motor development toys for children as young as 18 months.
Color matching toadstools.
A simple yet very stimulating toy for toddlers: on the one hand, it promotes the basic fine motor skills needed to plug each little knob in its hole, and on the other, it’s a color sorting toy with which young toddlers can practice and reaffirm their notions of colors and feature-differentiating skills.
This toy has nine finely rounded toadstools and a wooden base with nine holes where the toadstools fit perfectly; each toadstool has a different color in a bright rainbow palette.
The age recommendation for the color matching toadstools is 18 months old to 36 months old. For the color matching toadstools is 18 months old to 36 months old. It’s a great gift for young toddlers that will keep them engaged in sorting colors and practicing important fine motor skills of this development stage.
This toy receives its name from how it looks when it is completed. It’s made by twelve long wooden pieces in six bright colors that fit into holes with different width in the wooden base. Children play with this by locating the holes with the proper width for each piece and placing them.
For each pair of long pieces of the same color, one has a wide bottom and the other a thin one, so the porcupine involves color and width sorting along with hand fine motor development.
We recommend this toy for little ones as young as 18 months old up to the age of 3 years.
The porcupine is a very dear toy for us, we designed it for our own children and have watched them use it, we have seen why it attracts the attention of toddlers and how they play with it.
However, because of this, we have been working in perfecting its design and that’s why at the moment it isn’t available in our shop, but we will let you all know through our social media when we are ready to relaunch it.
Rainbow stacking rings.
Stacking colorful rings is a classic fine motor and color sorting toy for babies and toddlers, so we created two different versions. The rainbow stacking rings set can be used in several early developmental stages in different ways. Babies who can already sit on their own, which is more or less around the sixth month, are ready to start playing with it: a baby in this stage will practice grip and basic hand-eye coordination, and the colorful and textured rings are more than attractive for the baby.
Let them follow their instincts
Then, once older, they can begin to establish the foundations of counting, color sorting and make differentiated-feature patterns as there are different numbers of colored rings (6 are violet, 5 blue, 4 green, 3 yellow, 2 orange and 1 red). That’s why the recommended age for the colorful porcupine is from 6 months old (once the baby remains seated) up to the age of around 3 years old.
The rings are hand made with dried palm leaves and colored with non-toxic acrylic paint, the base is sturdy local pinewood so if you are looking for a color ring toy for your child that’s not made of plastic, this is an ideal option.
Staking Rings Tower.
We have another ring toy to develop fine motor skills from an early age along with the cognitive basic notions of order, size, and unit. Our version of the classic stacking rings is an eco-friendly and 100% safe alternative to plastic options. This staking rings tower has handcrafted palm rings and a pinewood base; due to the non-toxic nature of the material, your child can safely chew the rings without any risk.
The combination of textures makes this item ideal for the development of sensory perception.
This toy has 5 handmade palm rings in different sizes and can be ordered in color or in the natural palm-fiber tone.
Wooden puzzles are always great fun for toddlers and these toys promote fine motor skills, shape recognition, basis for the relation between the parts and the whole, and pattern-recognition tuning. We’ve created different designs and added an extra activity for this toy: these wooden puzzles are unpainted!
Why? So you and your child can paint them together and freely choose your own color gamut. By participating directly in painting the puzzle, your child will feel proud and happy about it and will enjoy extra playing with it later on.
These puzzles are a great present from an auntie, uncle or grandparent, as they also offer the bonding experience of painting it together, and later on, the puzzle becomes a little reminder of that bond. ﾠ
We made several designs: a turtle, a car, a spaceship, a moon, a bee, a fish, a butterfly… and maybe some more will come.
We also paint some of these wooden puzzles with acrylic non-toxic paints. If you want to see which designs are available please go to check our Etsy shop.
Nesting wooden bowls.
Beautifully hand-crafted bowls carved from local Guamuchil wood. We offer sets of 6 plates that descend in size so they are all nestable. These beauties can be used for stacking, nesting, sorting, pretend to play kitchenware, filling and emptying activities and anything your little one comes up with. Their surface is smooth and rounded, so when a child handles them while playing, fine motor skills are tuned and enhanced.
While playing, young children can learn about size and sequencing as well as exercise their fine motor skills, problem-solving, visual comparison, and hand-eye coordination. This toy is a great addition to any playroom, preschool, daycare or home, especially those that use Montessori principles. Please note that these bowls are not varnished or treated.
Rainbow Nesting Baskets.
The uses children can give these rainbow handmade baskets are endless! Sorting, nesting, pretend play and learning to put away their toys after playtime is over are all ways these colorful baskets can be used. And all of this helps children improve their fine motor skills.
Your children will learn color sorting while they keep their toys stored in these cute and handy baskets.
The baskets are completely handmade by very skilled local artisans who are paid fairly for their special work. These rainbow nesting baskets are made of palm leaves and the set includes 6 baskets. The smallest basket is 6″ in diameter and 4″ tall, and the largest basket is 10 3/4″ in diameter and 6″ tall.