Creative, hands-on activities are excellent resources to strengthen all kinds of developmental skills — fine motor, coordination, problem solving, etc — and give kids a therapeutic outlet. Unfortunately, arts and crafts often lead to messes mom and dad are stuck cleaning up. For minimal clutter and maximum results, present your little one with lace cards to workout their wrists, strengthen their pincer grip and more.
Lacing cards are typically made from thick, sturdy panels or cardboard and feature punched holes around the perimeters of the shape, just big enough for string to fit through. It’s a kind of tracing activity that enhances your little one’s hand-eye coordination, and encourages them to use their fingers, explore the ways in which their motor muscles work and pay attention to detail. Ready to get your wiggly one weaving? Here are the best lace cards to keep their hands busy.
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1. Chronicle Books Lacing Cards
These lace cards from Chronicle Books are perfect to pair with your child’s favorite bedtime story. They’re available in three story-themed sets: two inspired by the classics — Curious George and The Very Hungry Caterpillar — and one decorated with sketches of fantastical fairies. Each set comes with 10 cards designed for tiny fingers to lace up, out and over again. Your child will love visiting with their literary friends outside the pages of their book, and you’ll love how immersed they become in this hands-on activity.
2. Melissa & Doug Lace & Trace Activity Set
Melissa & Doug value family time, including time with the furry members. If your child loves pets (the ones they have or the ones they pine for), they’ll adore these lace cards cut out in the shape of five of the most common household pets: a dog, cat, rabbit, fish and turtle. The cards themselves are absolutely adorable and will charm your child into spending hours of concentrated minutes tending to the task at their fingertips.
3. Stephen Joseph Lacing Cards
No matter what your child’s into — be it jungle animals, dinosaurs, woodland creatures or fairytales — Stephen Joseph has the perfect lace card set for them to play with. These cartoonish designs are so imaginative and darling, they invite little ones to interact and explore on sight alone. Each set features five cards for lacing and tracing, plus a zipper bag for easy storage.