Fine Motor Friday- Lock and Key

Not only does this activity entertain your little locksmith to be, it also develops manual dexterity , hand eye coordination , problem solving and memory! That’s a lot for one simple ( and mess free) activity. My son loved it- it was challenging but not frustrating. My advice is if you think your little one is ready, try it if they get frustrated put it away for a while, then try again.

  1. Gather your materials. I got 3 different lock/ key combos at a discount store, you want them to look different so it’s not too confusing. I also a binder ring for a key chain and a tray to keep the activity in one place.
  2. Put all three keys onto the ring.
  3. Lay out the locks and key chain and invite your child to open these locks.
  4. I helped with the first before I was shooed away by my independent 2 year old.
  5. “Look mama look! Key in!”
** I was just informed that some keys are high in lead, so make sure you wash those little hands throughly after playing, just in case! **


  1. Beth- the mama bee says

    There is something about kids and keys… both my kids fight over who gets to unlock the mailbox.

  2. Michelle says

    Love it!

    Got something for you over at Lollypops and Lizards:) Be sure and swing by and pick it up!

  3. Swati says

    In that photo where he is concentrating so hard – your son really looks like you. Need I also say he is so cute?

  4. Reenie's World says

    I just want to thank you for your blog. I have used a few of your ideas with my preschooler.

  5. CJStewart says

    My kids love locks and keys. Be sure to wash hands after playing with keys, though. Some have high concentrations of lead.

  6. Anissa says

    You have the cutest ideas! My 3 year old will start school with us next year and I’m so using some of your ideas. TFS

    I’m a homeschool mom!

  7. Danielle says

    I love this. My DD is obsessed with my keys and tries to open the dorrs- she is only 20 months. I have been really worried about the lead in keys though- I wonder if I can test before I buy. haha

  8. The Activity Mom says

    Wow! I can’t wait to try this! I also think it would be a great activity for the car.

  9. Tara @ Feels like home says

    We gathered up some locks and let Gracie play this morning. She loved it! Thanks for the great idea! :)

  10. Brooke Everett of be in red says

    We have had this as a lesson at the preschool that I work at and I also recommend it for young children. But keep an eye on the locks. One of our most innovative four year olds snuck a lock and key onto the playground and locked his favorite toys to the fence and then lost the key.

  11. Allie says

    I’m so happy Gracie had fun!

    Brooke – you just brought back memories of teaching PreK and going through cubbies at nap time . I would find all sorts of my things in them.

  12. Katrina says

    Ah! So simple….so perfect! I have locks and keys around the house. Just need to find matching sets. lol. Thanks so much for this great idea!

  13. Ashlyn Brunson says

    That is SO smart! My son likes to play with keys and walk around with them pretending to lock and unlock the playroom door. I’m sure he would LOVE this activity. Do you have any suggestions on where to find those types of locks?


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