If you have a handful of square blocks, a can with a plastic lid, and a pair of scissors, then you have everything you need to make this block drop fine motor activity for toddlers!
Much like the ball drop fine motor activity for babies I shared a while ago, this block drop activity helps little ones practice the fine motor, hand-eye coordination, and problem solving skills needed for learning how to do a shape sorter.
Unlike dropping a small ball into a round hole, however, dropping a block into a square hole requires the ability to grasp with the fingertips with more precision and rotate the block until it fits in the hole just right. This is quite a step up in dexterity and problem solving, and it’s so exciting when you see your little guy or gal figure out how to make the block fit into the hole and drop in for the first time!
It’s also a nice adaptation of a shape sorter activity for children who might have difficulties with visual perception (accurately interpreting what their eyes are seeing), problem solving, or overall cognitive or fine motor skills. Additionally, this type of activity — learning to rotate items to fit them in a particular direction — is the first step to learning how to complete self-help skills such as buttoning (think about it!). I have used this type of activity at home with my little one as well as in occupational therapy sessions with younger and older children with a wide range of diagnoses.
I love how basic materials like some blocks and a can are able to create such a versatile activity for such a wide variety of ages and skill levels. Try it out and have fun!