Just give a toddler some manipulative toys and watch them go! They have so much fun and are actually learning to push, pull, twist, turn and much more. Manipulatives and table toys give children the opportunity to develop their fine motor skills while exploring different colors, shapes and numbers. I love to observe and watch their little minds and hands go to work.
We talked about the stars and looking at the sky at night. I made black play dough with glitter. The kids loved playing with the play dough and of course we put in some glow in the dark stars and shut off the lights! The kids had fun cutting, rolling and stamping their dough. They don't even realize they are exercising those tiny little hands! Cutting with scissors requires a surprising amount of skill for a toddler. Several things must happen simultaneously and that is why we are always practicing using paper and play dough. For younger children learning to cut we use a heavier paper to help keep the paper stiff and makes it easier to cut. This is one of the many activities we do to practice their fine motor skills.