Baby Explorers #2: Fine Motor Activities!

I have been sharing the activities that I did as part of my “Baby Explorers” series in March. See the first baby explorers post for more information on these sessions!

I started our second session with our hello song and a read-along board book, and then we spent the rest of the time letting the babies explore the different activities I set out, all designed to help develop fine motor skills. We ended with bubbles from the bubble machine for the last five minutes.

room set up for baby explorers: blocks, basket with pipe cleaners, pompoms in muffin tin with plastic tongs, ribbon tug box, board books, scarves in kleenex box

The room set up: lots of different things to play with!


This activity was a major hit! I just emptied a new kleenex box and filled it with play scarves. Babies LOVED taking all of them out, and then we just stuffed them back in and they started again.


These giant pompoms, purchased from Discount School Supply, have been useful for so many activities! I put out the plastic gator tweezers too, in case we had some older toddlers/preschoolers come, but most of the babies were too young to use them. Still, they loved picking up and sorting the pompoms!


I’ve seen this activity with colanders before, but I just used a bin that we had already at the library. I love seeing the looks of concentration on toddlers’ faces when they are trying to put the pipe cleaners into the holes! I’ve set this up a couple of times, and it’s most successful if you start with a few pipe cleaners threaded through so that they see how it works.


The tugging box! This was the other breakout hit – I got the idea from Laughing Kids Learn via Pinterest. I had an ugly box that I didn’t want to paint, so I chose to wrap it in paper first, and then just cut the holes with a box cutter. I left the bottom open to pull the ribbon through, and closed it up when I was done. A few parents asked me how to make this one at home – their children were so intrigued when they pulled one ribbon and the other side moved!

I loved sharing these activities and explaining how they were beneficial, because they were so easy to make with things that were already on hand!



  1. Just wanted to send a big THANKS! your way — I hosted a program inspired by your Baby Explorer posts, and it was a big success. I had about 45 babies + their caregivers in attendance! This was twice the amount I was expecting, but thankfully there were plenty of toys and activities to go around. We also have a regular Baby and Me storytime that is well attended, but what I loved about this program was that I got more time to interact with the little ones and their grown ups. In a regular class, I only have time to say hello to them and then a 5-10 minute playtime at the end. But this program lasted an hour, and it was great community building! Thanks for sharing, looking forward to your other posts 🙂

    • Thanks Amanda! I am so glad that the posts inspired you and that your program was a success! And you’ve inspired me to finally write up some more posts – kind of a blogging lull this summer!

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