Toys that encourage children’s fine motor skills are said to have good “fiddle factor.” Not only is this type of manipulative play good for kids, it is irresistible to them! Being able to touch, hold, and manipulate objects is inherently satisfying. Try prying a toy out of a 3-year old’s grip!
Exercising our motor skills (both gross motor and fine motor skills) is crucial to how we wire our brains. In fact, some scientists contend that the very reason we developed brains in the first place was to be able to move!
For infants, deliver age-appropriate fiddle factor through allowing opportunities for grabbing and holding, pushing a button to activate sounds or lights, batting at dangling objects, and more. As infants grow into toddlers, pulling levers, spinning dials, opening doors, manipulating blocks and balls, etc. all use fine motor skills.