How To: Teach your Toddler fine motor skills with the items from your craft drawer


  1. Wake up with a screaming cramp in left leg
  2. Lie in bed panting and trying to take deep breaths until the pain subsides
  3. Toddler comes in “Hi Mum! Ok?”
  4. Smile through the pain and pat Toddler on the head
  5. Toddler wants to get up into the bed
  6. Turn over to pick Toddler up
  7. Leg cramps back up again
  8. Deep Breaths
  9. Tell Toddler “Mummy can’t right now, my leg is sore”
  10. Spot Russian Doll on bedside table – hand to Toddler to play with (Fine motor skills activity #1)
  11. Toddler happily sits down and plays with Russian Doll – keeps Toddler occupied for 10 minutes
  12. Cramp finally subsides – roll over on right side to get out of bed
  13. Leg cramps up AGAIN
  14. Toddler finished playing with Russian Doll stands up and walks to corner of bedroom
  15. Comes back with phone “Phone mum!”
  16. Thank Toddler for good thinking and put phone aside (no point in calling anyone, it’s not something I can be helped with – just got to ride the pain out)
  17. Lie back and take more deep breaths silently hoping that the CT scan booked later for the day will actually show what is causing this “cramping”)
  18. Toddler gets into ribbon drawer
  19. Lie in bed taking deep breaths while seeing colourful ribbons flying in the air and listening to Toddler squealing in glee
  20. Toddler opens next craft drawer ask Toddler to come to the bed
  21. Toddler brings bag of coloured pegs and popsicle sticks
  22. Open bag and show Toddler how to peg the matching colours onto each other (Fine motor skills activity #2)
  23. Toddler happily obliges – keeps Toddler occupied for 20 minutes
  24. Cramp in leg finally subsides enough to sit up
  25. Toddler pulls blankets aside “Up Mum!”
  26. Put Feet out of bed and onto the floor
  27. Leg cramps up again
  28. “Up Mum” Toddler jumping up and down
  29. Nod to Toddler and breathe through the pain
  30. Point to different craft drawer and ask Toddler to open it and bring a jar out
  31. Toddler opens drawer and pulls out jar with heart shaped paper clips
  32. Open jar to Toddlers excitement (Mum never lets him play with the craft drawers – currently in process of organising things we can use together)
  33. Show Toddler how to link the paper clips together (Fine motor skills activity #3)
  34. Toddler takes a few goes to get the hang of it, but spends next 30 minutes playing with paper clips
  35. During this time, slowly stand up and hobble to the end of the bed
  36. Step round Toddler and make way to bathroom with cold tiles
  37. Stand and sigh in relief as cold tiles help relax the remaining cramp in leg
  38. Walk back to bedroom to find Toddler has emptied more craft drawers and contents scattered through out room (Don’t tell them off as technically you gave them permission to go in the drawers)
  39. Ask Toddler if they want breakfast
  40. Toddler jumps up and down “BREAKFAST!” (be happy that they weren’t wanting it before now)
  41. Take one more look at the mess in the room, close the door and decide to leave it to clean up later when there is no threat of re-cramping (or Toddler to work around)

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