Toddler Toothpicks Fine Motor Activity

by Alissa Marquess on January 17, 2012

Toddler Toothpicks Fine Motor Have a spice jar handy? How about toothpicks? That’s all this toddler fine motor activity requires.

I set the empty spice jar on the ground and set out ten toothpicks (I counted before laying them out so I would know I got them all picked up at the end of play.)

I picked up a toothpick and dropped it through a hole in the lid. You can bet my toddler wanted to try that too.  She carefully poked all ten toothpicks through the holes with great concentration.  She actually did this activity three times in a row before getting tired of it and deciding to use the jar with toothpicks it as a musical instrument.

Toddler Fine Motor

You might wonder if toothpicks are a good idea for a toddler.  This is one of those activities that falls inline with my idea that with proper attention small objects need not be off limits to toddlers.  With you beside them they get to enjoy exploring a new material and have the company they like best.

So- don’t toss out that empty spice jar.  Save it for toddler fine motor play instead!

Playfully linked up to:  It’s Playtime

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy January 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I stepped on a toothpick last week. VERY painful. Make sure you do the counting and picking all of them up.


Angelique Felix January 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Great activity Alissa! Pinning it
Angelique x


JDaniel4s Mom January 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm

What a great way to work on small motor skills!


Kristina January 20, 2012 at 12:33 am

I need to work on emptying some spice jars so I can do this!!

This might keep my daughter occupied for awhile so I could actually get something done! (like the dishes piling up :)). Love this and love how it works on fine motor skills in such a simple and entertaining way.


The Iowa Farmer's Wife January 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Great motor skills activity!! We have tons of empty spice jars in our craft area waiting to be used! Perfect!


Alissa January 22, 2012 at 8:19 am

I was happy to find a use for the empty jar too :D


Cortney January 25, 2012 at 10:21 pm

My 13 month old son loved this and of course big sis (4) wanted to get in on the action too…so now we have two empty spice jars with toothpicks that are used almost daily. Thanks for a great idea! I am thinking if I empty one of my Costco size spice jars I could use plastic coffee stir sticks instead of toothpicks… to use up the rest of the garlic powder.


Heather March 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Might I suggest using popsicle sticks and a parmesan cheese shaker jar instead? Seems a LOT more safe. Paint or color the sticks and you can even use a pringles can or something similar and punch holes in the top. My daughter’s daycare teacher did the cheese shaker and sticks and my 19 month old LOVED it! She kept calling it “sticks”!


The Imperfect Housewife April 30, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Fantastic! Absolutely going to do this with my 2 yr old. Thanks!


Tanya September 14, 2012 at 3:19 am

Thanks for this idea! We use coloured matchsticks with this activity and both of my children really enjoy putting the sticks in and shaking them around!


sherrie October 4, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Sounds fun but don’t like the idea of toothpicks. I’m thinking broken spaghetti would work better. You could break in different lengths.


Alissa Marquess October 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Ooh, broken spaghetti is a great idea! Thanks :)


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