Sensory Play, Fine Motor Skills
Fine Motor Activity for Toddlers - Poke the Porcupine - 7 Days of Play

Fine Motor Activity for Toddlers – Poke the Porcupine

child plays game to strengthen pincer grasp

This fine motor activity for toddlers is a fun way to strengthen pincer grasp, hand eye coordination, and more!

Setting it up is simple, but we made it even easier with a free printable porcupine that you can just tape to a box! Read on to get it!

A Fun Fine Motor Activity for Toddlers 

If you are looking for a way to help your toddler strengthen their fingers and pincer graps, then this the perfect activity!

Picking up toothpicks takes some serious concentration for toddlers. Sticking them into the porcupine will give them satisfaction and encourage them to keep going! For safety, use toothpicks that have a blunt tip, I link to one below! 

Don’t miss our full list of fine motor activities for more fun ideas! 

Skills: 

Ages: 

Prep Time: 

Watch the Video to See This Fine Motor Activity for Toddlers in Action!

 

Here’s a quick video of my toddler pushing the toothpicks into the cardboard porcupine. As you can see, she loves adding all the sticky quills to the cute little porcupine. Remember, it is always important to supervise an activity like this!

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

Watch the Video to See This Fine Motor Activity for Toddlers in Action!

Here’s a quick video of my toddler pushing the toothpicks into the cardboard porcupine. As you can see, she loves adding all the sticky quills to the cute little porcupine. Remember, it is always important to supervise an activity like this!

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

Make Your Own Cardboard Porcupine Activity or Grab Our Free Printable!

The prep work and set-up could not be easier! You don’t have to spend a lot of time buying lots of supplies either. And since we know grown ups are busy, we also have a free printable with spikey animals that you can just pop on a box instead of drawing one!

For more activities you can easily print visit our Printable Shop.

The pointy ends of the toothpicks make this a fantastic sensory activity for toddlers. Be careful though – use blunt toothpicks and always supervise. If you can’t find blunt toothpicks, use cotton swabs, paper straws, or pipe cleaners instead!

Read on for the step by step instructions and the educational benefits of this fine motor activity for toddlers!

Materials

  • Toothpicks (or pipe cleaners)

Step-by-Step Instructions 

Step 1

Draw a porcupine on a small box or tape our free printable porcupine instead!

Step 2

Use a small screwdriver or sharp knife to create the holes. Remember to keep them small because they will expand as your kiddo pokes the toothpick through.  

Step 3

Stick toothpicks or pipe cleaners through the holes you made in the porcupine. 

Step 4

Younger toddlers can pull the spikes out of the porcupine or push them through the holes. Older toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy putting the toothpicks in the holes themselves!

Step 1

Draw a porcupine on a small box or tape our free printable porcupine instead!

Step 2

Use a small screwdriver or sharp knife to create the holes. Remember to keep them small because they will expand as your kiddo pokes the toothpick through. 

Step 3

Stick toothpicks or pipe cleaners through the holes you made in the porcupine. 

Step 4

Younger toddlers can pull the spikes out of the porcupine or push them through the holes. Older toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy putting the toothpicks in the holes themselves!

Educational Benefits of the Porcupine Activity

You are going to love how many early childhood education benefits there are of this simple little activity. 

Picking up or pushing down on the toothpicks is sensory play. Not only do they see the toothpicks, but they feel the edges too. When toddlers feel different textures, it creates new connections in their minds. 

Not only does it engage their mind, but it strengthens their fine motor skills. That movement of trying to pinch the toothpicks with their thumb and fingers is called the pincer grasp. It’s important for other skills like tying their shoes and holding a pencil. 

child playing game to strengthen fine motor skills by poking toothpicks or cotton swabs into a box shaped like a porcupine

Add some letters and numbers to the porcupine for older kids. Then, ask them to poke the toothpicks through each letter and number. This is a fun activity that can grow with your child!  

child playing game to strengthen fine motor skills by poking toothpicks or cotton swabs into a box shaped like a porcupine

Educational Benefits of the Porcupine Activity

You are going to love how many early childhood education benefits there are of this simple little activity. 

Picking up or pushing down on the toothpicks is sensory play. Not only do they see the toothpicks, but they feel the edges too. When toddlers feel different textures, it creates new connections in their minds. 

Not only does it engage their mind, but it strengthens their fine motor skills. That movement of trying to pinch the toothpicks with their thumb and fingers is called the pincer grasp. It’s important for other skills like tying their shoes and holding a pencil. 

Add some letters and numbers to the porcupine for older kids. Then, ask them to poke the toothpicks through each letter and number. This is a fun activity that can grow with your child!

Store-Bought Fine Motor Activities For Toddlers

Here are my top picks for toys you can buy that strengthen toddler fine motor skills!

Buckle and Threading Pillow

This colorful pillow is fantastic for fine motor skills with 12 buckles to explore as well as a threading exercise!

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog 

These chunky spikes are easy for little hands to grasp while strengthening muscles as they fit into the back of the hedgehog!

Big Lacing Beads 

Threading large wooden beads are great for strengthening fine motor skills! This set includes 30 beads and 2 colorful laces!

Pull and Play Tissue Box

This fun toy is a play tissue box that comes with 12 reusable scarves to encourage grasping and fine motor skills!

What’s Next?

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