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Nurturing Baby's Artistic Skills

You love to display your budding artist's masterpieces, but can't help asking yourself: "When will I recognize something?" Despite how it looks, wrapping her small fingers around the crayon and scribbling is a major achievement. Even though gross motor milestones, like rolling over, crawling, and walking get all the praise in your baby's first year, fine motor development is no less important—it's essential for proper finger and hand movement. These activities will help your baby hone these important skills:

Pick-up fun

Basic skills: Let her self-feed more often with Cheerios or peas
Advanced play: Fit colored pieces into a shape-sorter toy

Arts and crafts

Basic skills: Give her thick crayons or chunky sidewalk chalk to draw with, which are easy to hold
Advanced play: Try finger painting or playing with sand and clay to practice digging and shaping

Building blocks

Basic skills: Help her make towers using small alphabet blocks
Advanced play: Practice attaching and detaching large linking blocks