Today, we are sharing five activities that help develop the pincer grasp. The pincer grasp is holding something between the pointer finger and the thumb. The pincer grasp helps with holding a pencil, but it is not all a child needs to be ready to write.
The child’s WHOLE body needs to be ready to write! The whole body, from shoulders and core muscles to fingers and wrists need to be strong and developed. Check out our other articles in this series:
The pincer grasp actually develops in a child as a baby or toddler. However, using it to do more advanced tasks like hold a pencil or holding a nail to hammer takes practice, hand-eye coordination, and finger strength.
Here are 5 activities that encourage children to use their pincer grasp.
Threading and Lacing
Thread beads, pasta, or buttons onto wire or pipe cleaners to make necklaces, bracelets, or decorations. Next, try threading with shoe laces or yarn.
Fill a Container
Give your child the challenge of filling a container with small objects that need to be pinched to be picked up. Fill a salt shaker with toothpicks or a water bottle with pom poms. Sprinkling glitter also strengthens the pincer grasp.
Working with play dough or clay strengthens fingers and hand muscles too. Hide objects (beads, googly eyes, gems) in a ball of play dough for your child to pull apart and find. Set out a variety of small items to make play dough creations with such as gems, beads, googly eyes, candles, toothpicks, and straws.
Tweezers, Tongs, and Clothes Pins
Use tongs, tweezers, or clothes pins to transfer items from one container to another. Transfer pom poms into a muffin tin, pick up pieces of yarn or pipe cleaners with a clothes pin, or use tweezers to remove pieces of sponge from a bowl of water.
Pipettes are fun for transferring colored water and making potions. Use pipettes and warm water to melt an ice cube. Draw a circle on a piece of wax paper and challenge your child to put a drop of water in the middle. You can even use pipettes to experiment with combining oil and water.
All of these activities allow for creativity and self expression while strengthening the pincer grasp.