Best Motor Skills Toys for Toddlers

When you have been gifted with a child, you also receive an incredible responsibility to raise your child by taking care of all their developmental needs. This is about more than just ensuring they eat, are clean and safe, and learn to speak or even read.

Your child also needs to learn how to move and how to complete tasks. These are easily taken for granted as an adult. Holding a pencil or crayon is a task you had to learn as a child.

Your child is learning this now, and you can help them with this review of the 21 best motor skills toys for toddlers.

There are two kinds of motor skills: gross motor skills and fine motor skills. As you can tell from their names, one involves larger movements, while fine motor skills are all about delicate and focused movements.

Luckily for you and your budget, toys often combine both kinds of motor skills, and with toys, learning is fun!

What Are the 5 Most Important Gross Motor Skills for a Toddler?

Two toddlers exhibiting gross motor skills

Gross motor skills involve the larger muscle groups, and the toys that stimulate these will encourage your toddler to bend, move, run, balance, and jump, as well as many other large motor skills movements.

The five most important gross motor skills for a toddler are:

  • Climbing (and balancing)
  • Pulling
  • Running
  • Throwing
  • Catching

What Are Some Examples of Toddler Gross Motor Skills Development Tasks?

Toddler improving gross motor skills playing in sand

Whenever your toddler runs with their friends or their puppy, climbs up on the sofa, or balances on their stepping stones, they are busy learning gross motor skills. Riding a bicycle and climbing stairs using their legs and feet are all examples of gross motor skills.

Even the first act of your infant pushing themselves up into a sitting position in those early months is an example of gross motor skills.

Teaching your toddler to use the different gross motor skills is dependent on getting them interested and excited about fun activities, which is where the toys come in.

What Are the Top 5 Fine Motor Skills for a Toddler?

Toddler playing with slime, exhibiting fine motor skills

Having mastered the top five gross motor skills, your child will begin to master their top fine motor skills. These are skills that involve the smaller muscle groups.

The movements your child learns to perform will influence your child’s ability to hold things, pick things up, use hand-eye coordination, and be more ambidextrous, so they can work with both hands at the same time.

These skills are vital for your child to successfully do more advanced tasks or learn to perform more focused activities that require hand-eye coordination or focus.

The most important fine motor skills for a toddler include:

  • Pick things up using index and thumb fingers only
  • Feed themselves
  • Build things by holding smaller parts
  • Draw, paint, and shape by hand
  • Open, close, and fasten things

What Are Some Examples of Toddler Fine Motor Skills?

Whenever your child picks up something using the thumb and index finger in a pincer motion, they are using a fine motor skill. This is an essential skill as it will help your child learn important tasks such as dressing and undressing themselves.

They will learn how to eat with a fork or spoon, and they will engage in more delicate activities like brushing their hair or tying a shoe.

There are a number of other fine motor skills too. Toys may combine more than one motor skill in the concept.

Let’s take a look at the top toys that will help your child learn how to use their fine and gross motor skills!

Toy Time: The 21 Best Motor Skills Toys for Toddlers Reviewed

#1: Green Toys Dump Truck in Yellow and Red

This has to be a classic toy for toddlers, and there are variations of this toy that are available as ambulances, planes, and other vehicles.

It is great for teaching your young child to clutch the toy, move it, and develop gross motor skills by moving around their bodies while they play with the toy vehicle.

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#2: Green Toys Tea Set, Blue/Red/Yellow – 17 Piece

While we’re on the subject of classic toys, nothing beats a good tea set. The social skills, fine motor activities of grasping small items, stirring tea with the spoons, and coordinating between holding a cup and balancing the saucer are all outstanding for your child’s development.

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#3: Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set

This will give your child loads of fun, and learning opportunities abound with this toy set. The plastic fruits are all different colors, which can then be sorted into five baskets.

Your child will learn grasping skills, and since they need to move from toy to basket, they will develop gross motor skills such as bending and kneeling.

You can make it a game by hiding the fruits in your garden while your child has to perform different gross motor skills such as running, skipping, leaping, and crawling to reach different toys and return them to the baskets.

Additionally, your child will learn about fruit and vegetable types, and they will also discover different colors.

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#4: Counting Bears Color Sorting Toys for Toddlers Stacking Cups

What fun! This counting set comprises different color bears, tongs, and coordinated cups. It’s a simple game of finding the right color bears to place in the corresponding cup, yet your child is only allowed to use the tongs to grasp the teddies and then move them over to the cups.

This involves gross motor skills with different arm movements, and it also strengthens the child’s core muscles as they balance before putting the bears in the cups.

The different fine motor skills involve hand-eye coordination, finer grasping skills, with your child learning how to alternate pressure on the tongs to grasp, lift, and release the bears.

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#5: IMAGYM Stackable Stepping Stones for Kids

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Every kid will love these heart-shaped stepping stones. The name of this game is definitely balancing time. Your child steps from one stone to the next, balancing as they go. They can choose to hop or leap over too.

Games can involve only being able to leap to a particular colored stone, which helps with coordination, memory, and physical development too.

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#6: Battat – Farmers Market Basket – Toy Kitchen Accessories – Pretend Cutting Play Food Set

Your child will love this toy set. It involves the activity of pretending to cut fruits and vegetables, placing the halves into the basket, and, afterward, sorting the correct halves back together with their matching partners.

The toys and cutting activity improves fine motor skills as the child has to grasp the different foods and separate them.

There are also coordination activities involved in placing the fruits and vegetables on the little cutting boards and separating them with the play knife. The rich colors make for great motivation and fun.

No child can resist these fun slices of entertainment!

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#7: 150 Piece Classic Big Building Blocks

A parent-approved favorite, this building block set has two different shape blocks: squares with two by two pegs and rectangles with two by four pegs.

The coordination involved in securing the pegs will keep your child constructively challenged, and the gross motor skills and fine motor skills of balancing and moving over the building project will provide hours of entertainment.

Made from high-quality lead-free plastic, it is child-safe, and the rounded corners are a nice touch to eliminate those ouch feet from stepping on a block.

Different colors help improve pattern recognition, and finger dexterity is also boosted by positioning the blocks.

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#8: Radio Flyer Busy Buggy

Every toddler will love this ride-on toy. The toy has several exercises for gross motor skills, from pushing, peddling, and standing to walk.

Additionally, the smaller movable parts help foster fine motor skills that may be required, such as grasping the different levers and turning dials.

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#9: Melissa & Doug K’s Kids Take-Along Shape Sorter

This is suitable for children from nine months old already, but even older children will be fascinated by this sorting toy. The soft padded case has a zipper to help retrieve the different shapes from inside, and it provides a tactile experience.

As a fine motor skills toy, this helps with recognizing patterns and placing the shapes accurately to let them slip inside.

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#10: Coogam Wooden Magnetic Fishing Game

Even adults will love this game. It’s fishing with a slight twist.

The fine motor skills required to fish out the little wooden fish with the magnetic fishing rod will have your child expand their ability to focus as they learn how to create micro-movements with their fingers, wrists, and hands.

The different colors and letters of the alphabet are also a nice touch, helping your child learn how to follow instructions.

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#11: Wooden Wobble Balance Board

The wobble board is one heck of a fun gross motor skills toy. It will help your child balance, learn, and imagine.

The board can be a slide, a chair, a bridge, a sleigh, a racetrack, and many more things with your child’s imagination as their only limitation.

Major muscle groups get a great gross motor skills workout with this balancing board!

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#12: CPSYUB Toddler Toys, Easter Eggs

Kids love the idea of eggs having something else inside, and these pattern-match eggs are a great exercise in logic, pattern recognition, and fine motor skills like grasping, turning, and pushing.

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#13: Top Bright Wooden Shape Sorter Toys for Toddlers

This is a variation on the other sorter toys with the sorter being a concrete mixer that turns so the different shapes can be matched and dropped in.

This makes it a fine and gross motor skills toy since the child can grasp shapes, use dexterity to turn the load bin to look for the matching shape, and line it up to drop in.

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#14: Toddler Musical Instruments Toys – Smarkids Premium

Musical instruments help children shake, clap, tap, and bang against the instruments, building coordination, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills.

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#15: B. Critter Clinic Toy Vet Play Set

Let imagination run with this vet set with plush toy animals for your child to help. The tools of the vet help your child learn to pick up, grasp, and sort. The different keys unlock the various animal enclosures, which help form logic and pattern recognition.

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#16: Fun Little Toys 18 Pcs Baby Bath Toys With Soft Cute Ocean Animals

These floating toys are designed for your toddler to grasp, squeeze, and squirt water with. The scooping action of the net develops the major muscle groups in gross motor skills development. Bright colors and different shapes will keep your child interested.

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#17: Fat Brain Toys FA 209-1 Tile Game Multi-Colored

Ideal for building fine motor skills, these challenge cards invite your toddler to copy the design with the different puzzle pieces by sliding, flipping, or arranging them. Great for developing spatial reasoning.

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#18: Learning Resources Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

This is one of the top gross and fine motor skills toys on the market. The hedgehog’s plastic quills require sorting and insertion.

Your child can create different patterns, use their spatial reasoning skills, and practice basic counting while developing muscle tone with the activities of inserting the quills.

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#19: Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center

With a whole range of activities, this toy helps boost both gross and fine motor skills. Watch them turn dials, move beads, and open doors in the toy.

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#20: Melissa & Doug Deluxe Chomp and Clack Alligator Wooden Push Toy and Activity Walker

Get your kids moving and developing their gross motor skills with this push toy. Fun is not optional!

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#21: 6 Foot Play Tunnel – Indoor Crawl Tube for Kids

Kids will love crawling through this colorful tube, and they will be developing balance, speed, coordination, and muscle strength at the same time!

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Wrapping it Up

Raise your toddlers to develop the right gross motor skills and physical strength to have a healthy life with these toys, while also stimulating and building their fine motor skills. Now you just need to decide which toy you like best!