By Dory CernyUpdated Oct 15, 2018
Best forToddlers 18 months and older
Top BenefitsStrengthens colour recognition, counting and sorting skills, hand-eye coordination and muscle development in fingers and hands
ConsiderationsAdult supervision recommended, assistance may be required to open and close Spike
Bottom lineSpike the Fine Motor Hedgehog is a fun, tactile way to help toddlers develop colour recognition, counting and sorting skills, hand-eye coordination and muscle development in fingers and hands.
Developing fine motor skills can be challenging for a lot of little ones, so any toy that improves their ability to grip and control small objects with their fingers—important for using writing and eating utensils later on—is OK in our books. Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog does just that, with the added benefit of helping kids learn to sort, count and identify colours. The hard plastic hedgehog has numbered holes for kids to fit the purple, green, orange and red “quill” pegs into. The toy’s instructions include suggestions for seven games that parents, educators or older siblings can play with a toddler, but just removing and inserting Spike’s quills into his back (which pops open so the pieces can be stored when not in use) will be entertaining for younger kids. While this game may score bonus points with parents who prefer toys sans noises or lights, its limited play possibilities may not appeal to all kids, especially those struggling with fine motor skills. Because of their size and shape, the plastic quills could pose a choking hazard for babies, so supervised play is key. But parents will appreciate the high quality and cute look of this portable little learning toy, even if they have to play along.