Fine Motor Skills Checklist for Toddlers (18 months-36 months old)

Affiliate and Referral links are used below to promote products I love and recommend. I receive a commission on any purchases made through these links. Please see my disclosure policy for more details. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Your little one is headed towards toddlerhood. Gone are the days of scooting and rolling to where they need to go. If they are anything like my 19 month old son, a toddler “tornado” comes to mind. It's definitely an age of discovery and becoming more independent with activities you use to have to help with. It's fun to see what your toddler will be mastering and it's also a great way to figure out what types of activities you can provide to improve their fine motor skills.

Today's fine motor skills checklist for toddlers will help you figure out what your little guy or girl will be working on and some fun ways you can challenge their fine motor skills for the future.

Fine motor skills checklist for toddlers (ages 18 months to 36 months).

Fine Motor Skills Checklist for Toddlers

18 months old – Most children are walking by this age and starting to move steadier and easier over uneven surfaces. Here are some fine motor skills that they will be mastering.

  • Can put rings on pegs.
  • Begins to hold a crayon with finger tips and thumb.
  • Removes pegs from a pegboard.
  • Marks or scribbles with a crayon or pencil.
  • Can build a tower 3-4 blocks high.
  • Can open loosely wrapped packages or containers.
  • Begins to make snips on paper with scissors (closer to 24 months old).
  • Can turn pages in a book one page at a time.

24 months old – After age 2, toddlers are beginning to refine their fine motor skills including hand grasp and begin to copy and trace pre-writing lines or shapes.

  • Manipulates clay or play dough with fingers.
  • Can build a tower 9 blocks high.
  • Can turn doorknobs.
  • Can pick up small objects with pincer grasp (index finger and thumb).
  • Can complete 3 piece puzzles.
  • Makes scribbles on paper.
  • Makes snips on paper with scissors.
  • Can wash hands independently.
  • Can screw lids on and off containers.
  • Able to string large beads.
  • Zips and unzips large zippers.
  • Able to use a spoon correctly.

36 months old – Your toddler is headed towards preschool age! Here are some fine motor skills they will need in order to focus on higher level skills.

  • Able to cut a piece of paper in half.
  • Can copy pre-writing lines (vertical, horizontal, and circle shapes).
  • Able to complete lacing cards.
  • Can cut a long, wide line with 1/2″ accuracy.
  • Able to string 1/2 inch beads.
  • Can sort objects by color, size, types etc.
  • Able to fasten and unfasten large buttons.

Fine Motor Skills Checklist for Toddlers Printable

Fine motor skills checklist for toddlers (ages 18 months to 36 months).

Would you like a printable checklist of the skills above? Just put your e-mail address into the form below and press the green “click here” button. You'll need to head over to your inbox and confirm your subscription and then your download will automatically be sent to your computer. Double check your spam folder or promotions tab for the confirmation e-mail. After the download is sent, double check your downloads folder and save it to your desktop of wherever you keep your digital downloads.

Get more fine motor development tips below!

Follow Heather | Growing Hands-On Kids's board fine motor skills for toddlers on Pinterest.

Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One Comment

  1. Carol van Zyl says:

    Thank you for the checklist its very helpful.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
All information on the Website is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for medical advice from a physician or your pediatrician. Please consult with a medical professional if you suspect any medical or developmental issues with your child. The information on the Websites does not replace the relationship between therapist and client in a one-on-one treatment session with an individualized treatment plan based on their professional evaluation. The information provided on the Website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied.

Do not rely on the information on the Website as an alternative to advice from your medical professional or healthcare provider. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment as a result of any information provided on the Website. All medical information on the Website is for informational purposes only.

All activities outlined on the Website are designed for completion with adult supervision. Please use your own judgment with your child and do not provide objects that could pose a choking hazard to young children. Never leave a child unattended during these activities. Please be aware of and follow all age recommendations on all products used in these activities. Growing Hands-On Kids is not liable for any injury when replicating any of the activities found on this blog.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY The Website was developed strictly for informational purposes. You understand and agree that you are fully responsible for your use of the information provided on the Website. Growing Hands-On Kids makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees. You understand that results may vary from person to person. Growing Hands-On Kids assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions that may appear on the Website.