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Cheerio Push

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A fine motor activity for tabies

I’ve been working with Mr 15 months on his fine motor skills for a few months now and as he masters each activity, i’m always looking for new ways to challenge him at an appropriate level. Read on to find out more about this simple cheerio push…

Tabies (or children aged 1+) are known for their busy nature and curious minds. As soon as they begin to move, the world is theirs for the taking. If you haven’t completely baby proofed yet, now is the time! But for all of the busyness, tabies can also focus on tasks that occupy their hands and minds – posting activities are a particular favourite at this age.

It is best to start with chunky objects that are easy for tiny hands to grasp, but once dexterity has developed, along with the pincer grip, you can move on to smaller objects. This is where the cheerios come in!

Now I am a huge fan of loose parts BUT many objects can be considered a choking hazard, particularly if your taby still has the tendency to put everything in their mouths. Food pouch lids and pompoms seem to be incredibly popular across Instagram, but I would always caution against using these items especially with the under twos.

Cheerios are a good solution: they are small enough to be a challenge but they won’t cause huge issues if a few are taste tested!

Recommended age:

We did this activity with E at aged 15 months after he had tried and mastered many other posting style activities. I would really recommend starting with large items first like jar lids, then try objects of increasingly smaller size – craft sticks are also a good option.

The smaller the object and hole, the harder it will be. It is all about finding the correct level of challenge for your own child. If your taby can do an activity immediately with no problems, it is probably too easy but if it’s too hard, they may cry in frustration. You need to find a balance between these two levels for optimal challenge.

You will need:

  • A handful of cheerios
  • Egg carton
  • Scissors / knife

What to do:

Simply turn the empty egg carton upside down, then poke a hole in each section. Present the carton, along with a handful of cheerios, to your taby. I personally feel like this activity works best in a contained environment, so we used the high chair!

E had a great time exploring this activity by pushing the cheerios into the carton, then opening up the box to see what had happened!

As with any activity involving food and tabies, you will need to do this under supervision.


  • Hand-eye coordination – putting the cheerios into the hole
  • Problem solving – finding out what happened to the cheerios
  • Pincer Grip – using the thumb and forefinger to grip the cheerio
  • Perseverance – providing a more challenging version of a previous activity.
  • Precursor to numeracy skills – including counting and 1:1 correspondence.

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Sian Thomas

Sian Thomas

Sian is a trained teacher mama to three awesome children and wife to Greg. As a family of expats, they travel the world every couple of years for new adventures. Right now, they live in Vienna, Austria.

One thing Sian is super passionate about? Helping mums worldwide navigate the early years of parenthood.

You can join her on her brand new venture, This Playful Home, by visiting www.thisplayfulhome.com or clicking the email sign up button below!

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