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Tag Archives: fine motor skills

Spotlight on Guidecraft’s Texture Dominos

Guidecraft texture dominos tactile toyEvery now and then, I like to feature a particular toy that provides fun and multiple educational benefits.  One of my favorites is Guidecraft’s Texture Dominos, a wonderful preschool manipulative and tactile toy.  The toy has also won an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award.

Dominos are a great classic game that help children with math skills including combining and partitioning numbers.  Guidecraft’s Texture Dominos are a twist on traditional dominos.  They have two colored and textured dots for matching. 

Texture Dominos help children: Guidecraft Texture Dominos

  • Develop tactile discrimination
  • Develop visual perception.
  • Develop sorting & sequencing skills
  • Exercise fine motor skills
  • Think and problem solve
  • Learn to take turns when playing them as a game

Children can play a dominos game, they can match and sort (with eyes open or closed!), they can stack and build.  So many ways to play with them!

The set comes with 28 wooden dominos in a sturdy wooden tray.  For children ages 3+.

For more information on other great manipulative toys that are wonderful fine motor skill builders, check out my earlier posts Best Toys to Build Children’s Fine Motor Abilities and Lacing Toys.

Do your children play dominos?  What are their favorite domino games?

Montessori Learning Activity

Children learn by doing.  One key aspect of Montessori philosophy is: “Help me to do it myself.”  (See my earlier post on Montessori Philosophy.) Montessori activities use multiple senses to learn, internalize and prepare for the next steps such as writing, all in a developmentally-appropriate way.   One of the activities I loved when my daughter was in Montessori preschool was the “feel & find” activity. When I saw Guidecraft’s 3D Feel & Find, I knew that we had to carry it.

Guidecraft 3D Feel & Find Montessori Guidecraft Feel & Find Fine Motor children

What is it? The set includes 20 wooden tiles, 20 matching wooden shapes and a cloth bag. Children put their hands into a bag and identify the shape through touch alone.  Is it a letter shape, a geometric shape, an animal shape?  Fit it into the matching puzzle tile.  The child can also sort the pieces by color and/or type of shape.

Fine Motor Skills

Recent posts have focused on different toys that help children build fine motor skills such as lacing toys and manipulatives.  The Feel & Find uses several senses to strengthen your child’s fine motor skills:

  • Tactile
  • Spacial
  • Visual

Depending on how the game is used, children also learn:

  • Sorting & classification skills
  • Social skills when played as a game with other children.

How to play with the Feel & Find?

  1. Hand out the puzzle tiles to the players and then have them take turns reaching into the bag (no peeking!)
  2. Children find the matching shape and insert into their puzzle tile.
  3. Based on which tiles are used the learning activity can focus on geometric shapes (10), real world object shapes (10), colors or a mix.

The shapes are colored with safe non-toxic paint and are safe for ages 3 and up. 

What  a great way to nurture your child’s sensory exploration.  Isn’t it nice when children incorporate multiple senses in their learning since we frequently rely on our visual sense.  Plus, the bag lends an air of secrecy & mystery!

What other multidimensional learning activities do your children like?


fine motor abilitiesAcquiring fine motor skills is a major developmental milestone for children which is why it’s so important to create an environment that fosters this kind of learning.  How?  Appropriate toys and activities.  Remember – children learn through play and “doing.”

Guidecraft colored geo forms toy

Guidecraft Colored Geo Forms

What kinds of toys help build children’s fine motor abilities?

Toys and activities that can help your child build fine motor skills include:

  • sorting
  • stacking
  • lacing
  • weaving
  • coloring, and a lot more!

Manipulative skills allow little fingers to develop hand-eye coordination, spatial skills, visual perception, critical thinking skills and more.  Children explore the sensory properties of objects (size, shape, color, texture, weight, sound) when they play with manipulative toys.

Here are some great manipulative toys to help your child develop their fine motor abilities.   They are great toys that teach learning skills and would be equally happy as an in-home toy or at a Montessori school.

Sorting, Stacking & Shape Recognition Toys to Build Fine Motor Abilities

Guidecraft 3D Feel & Find  GuidecraftFind&Feel

A classic Montessori activity!  Children are given wooden tiles and they put their hand into the bag (no peeking!) to find the matching shape.



Guidecraft Nest & Stack Cubes & Guidecraft Nest & Stack Cylinders

Rubberwood cubes or cylinders that nest together so kids can explore spatial relations, they also stack promoting fine motor and shape recognition tools. Also as each of the shapes decrease in size the colors go from bold to pastel teaching kids color differences.

Guidecraft Colored Geo Forms

Helps develop shape recognition, size progression and color matching. Twenty shaped pieces fit into an extra wide base. Shaped pieces are the same color but are five different sizes to they can be sorted by size and color.

Guidecraft Barnyard Activity Boxes

A great toy for in-home play or classroom.  Perfect for color, counting, sorting and imaginative play. Includes six different color barns with opening door and plexi windows, 6 purple chickens, 5 blue geese, 4 green pigs, 3 yellow sheep, two orange cows and one red horse. Each barn has an animal shaped opening so kids can put the orange cows back in the orange barn. Activity guide included.

Guidecraft One to Four Sorter Toy

A classic toy to help build early counting and sorting skills. Kids can sort shapes and place them on the pegs. Each shape comes in 4 colors to help develop hand-eye coordination.

Guidecraft Texture Dominos

One of my favorites – 28 wooden dominoes have textured circles for matching. Great for developing tactile discrimination and visual perception. When played as a game it’s a good way for kids to learn to take turns and improve sorting sequencing activities.

Stay tuned for more posts about fine motor skill toys. Next up:  Lacing Toys!

Photo credit: Gurumustuk Singh / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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