Developing and refining fine motor skills can be easy and fun! With a little ingenuity, your child will exercise these hard to isolate hand muscles while engaging in play. These intrinsic muscles require specialization in order to ease into the next developmental level, enabling them to position scissors , cut, color, and later write.
Playing with tongs of many varieties is a fun way of developing precision and strength. Here are a few novel ideas that will surely engage your child and can be adapted for toddlers as well!
- Mix some colored craft pom-poms with cotton balls for this pretend play of “popcorn server.” Have your child use cupped tongs or regular household tongs to serve the colored popcorn into bowls or paper bags designed by your child.
- Using child-friendly tweezers have your child place small figurines or play items into cupcake tins. Create a game out of it with plastic “bugs” and see if your child can play “bug keeper,” separating the bugs from each other in their own tin “home.”
- Serve up small baskets of acorns, nuts and play apples with salad tongs for pretend play.
- Hide colorful play apples in festive paper grass and have your child retrieve them with house hold tongs. They can be placed in cupcake tins or a pie plate for “apple pie” pretend play.
- Transform yarn pieces, festive ribbon curls or curled pipe cleaners into pasta. Use a colander and have your child serve up “spaghetti” on plates for restaurant play.
Enjoy engaging your child in pretend play. They’ll be well on their way towards building hand muscles needed to cut, color and draw for future school success!
Director of Fun, Co-Founder & Mother of Four
Registered Licensed Occupational Therapist (OTR/L)
Sensory Integration and Praxis Test Certified (SIPT)
Each HOOT for Kids blog represents our point of view but should not replace diagnosis and treatment from your own doctor or therapist