As babies develop their motor skills, they become stronger and more independent. From putting on baby clothes to introducing new toys, there are some easy ways you can support the development of your baby’s motor skills.

1. Introduce Babies to a Variety of Fabrics and Textures through Touch

Introducing babies to different fabrics and textures can be a fun and educational way to enhance their sensory development. To maximize this experience, present a range of fabrics such as silk, corduroy, buttery soft viscose, spandex, or cotton for the baby to touch and feel. Gradually expose them to each fabric, allowing them to investigate each one before moving on. Encourage the baby to touch and feel the fabrics both during dressing and in their own time. Babies can strengthen their sense of touch by exploring different fabrics and textures, gaining valuable sensory experience. Let their natural curiosity lead the way and enjoy the process.

2. Encourage Them to Hold Their Own Spoon

Encouraging babies to hold their own spoon is an important step in their development. Here are some tips to help them along:

  • Start with a soft and light spoon that is easy for them to grip.
  • Let them watch you as you feed them, so they can learn by imitation.
  • Give them the spoon and let them play with it, even if they don’t get much food in their mouth.
  • As they get better, provide them with soft food that is easy to scoop.
  • Celebrate their successes and be patient with their mistakes.

By giving babies the opportunity to hold their own spoon, you are helping them develop their fine motor skills and independence. And remember, every baby develops at their own pace, so be patient and have fun!

3. Give Them Plenty of Tummy Time

Tummy time is a great way for babies to build motor skills while playing with toys and taking in their surroundings. So, put your little one in soft baby clothes and give them some floor time on a favorite blanket or quilt.

put your little one in soft baby clothes

Babies build motor skills and gain strength during tummy time by moving and stretching their arms and legs. Another essential skill is lifting their head and chest off the ground and holding that position. As your baby’s skills improve, they will likely move their head from side to side.

Rolling over is another motor skill developed during tummy time. This action requires strength as well as coordination of the arms and legs. Once babies learn to roll over, they will not want to remain in the same position for long!

4. Demonstrate a New Toy

Some toys are specifically designed to develop a baby’s motor skills. One example is a toy that makes noises when it’s shaken. A baby works on grasping the toy and making a shaking motion to get the reward of hearing the noises. Rattles, a ring of plastic keys or a ball with a bell inside are great examples.

A miniature drum is another toy great for motor skill development. A baby has to grasp a drumstick and hit the drum to make a satisfying banging noise. Not only does your baby have to learn to grasp the stick and hang on to it, but it also takes coordination to aim the stick at the drum.

An overhead play gym toy is great for your baby to use during tummy time. This toy looks like a curved bridge positioned over a baby on a blanket or quilt. Your baby looks up at the colorful dangling objects in the play gym and must stretch their arms to hit them. Touching the objects makes them swing or even play music. That’s more than enough incentive for some babies to keep working at stretching their arms, moving their fingers and kicking their legs.

5. Entice Them To Move Toward a Favorite Item

Chances are, your baby has a favorite toy. During tummy time, try putting that toy just out of the reach of your little one. This encourages babies to stretch their arms, move their legs and scoot on their bellies to reach their preferred toy.

6. Play Music and Practice Clapping

Learning how to clap is a fun way to develop motor skills. First, put on a CD of lively songs for kids. Then, take your baby’s hands and show them how to clap to the beat. Demonstrate how to clap until your baby catches on. A bonus to this activity is that it allows you to introduce different types of music to your little one.

7. Read a Soft Book to Your Baby

Sitting with babies and reading a soft book to them accomplishes a few purposes. For one, many soft books make crinkly or squeaky noises when squeezed. A baby’s fingers can explore the book to find and make these noises. They can also work on holding the book and turning its plush pages.

Reading a soft book to babies also stimulates their thinking and introduces them to word sounds. The colors and images are sure to keep your baby’s attention.

8. Set Up a Mini Obstacle Course

Clear a space on your living room floor for your obstacle course. Then, find two or three large pillows and place them on the floor end to end. Encourage your baby to maneuver over the big pillows to reach a toy at the other end. This activity helps develop arm, leg, and neck strength and coordination.

set up a mini obstacle course

A small plastic stool with enough space for your baby to move beneath it can be another item for your course. Put a toy in front of the stool and encourage your baby to slide beneath the stool to reach the toy.

If you have a lightweight crawl tunnel, include it in your obstacle course. Encourage your little one to travel through it to a favored toy on the other end.

Keep Motor Skill Development Fun

As you see, you can help babies develop their motor skills in simple ways throughout the day. Making these activities entertaining for your baby can contribute to speeding up your little one’s progress.