Practicing the pincer grip is so important for little kids. The earlier they start practicing the better! And the great thing is, there are so many fun and interesting ways to get them to practice!
Why is the pincer grip so important? It’s the starting point for proper pencil grip, playing a musical instrument, and dressing themselves. Buttoning a button would be impossible without a good pincer grip.
Beginner chopsticks are a great way to practice the pincer grip, and kids love using them! An added bonus – my boys tend to eat more and for longer periods of time when they are using the chopsticks!
This is the one that Baloo chose:
Some other options:
I couldn’t find Royal’s on there (his is a race car) but there are many more options. If you search for Hog Wild on Amazon.com you will see farm animals, fish, dinosaurs, etc!
Of course chopsticks don’t have to be restricted to just food. You can easily make a transferring game using chopsticks! Here I had Royal transferring and sorting red and blue pom poms with the chopsticks.
He was proud that he picked the blue one up! You’ll have to forgive his messy face!
2. Transferring and small objects
Logi-Bear loves rocks and water containers, so I encouraged him to put the rocks into the water container. Picking up the rocks and then putting them through the small hole is great pincer practice. Logo-Bear managed to get quite a few rocks in too!
And when he finished getting the rocks in the container he loved banging it around!
Of course transferring rocks doesn’t have to be an outdoor activity! Logi-Bears loves to do it inside too!
Most crafts will somehow involve the pincer grip but there are some easy ways to make sure you get practice in. My boys always love using glitter. Instead of letting them shake it out, I like to put it in a cup and have them pinch it. Sequins or little gems work really well for pincer grip practice too!
This particular craft was part of Royal’s Terrific Truck ABCs. He was sprinkling cheerio dust onto his A.
4. Short crayons or chalk
Kids seem to naturally hold pencils/markers/crayons with a fist. One way to prevent that is to cut them down so they are short, about an inch or 2 long. Then they will automatically hold the pencil with a pincer grip.
I’m tempted to just break all of our crayons, but I cannot bring myself to do it. Luckily for me, I guess, Royal has a tendency to break every crayon he touches.
5. Straws and water play
My boys all love water play. Anytime they can just play with water they are thrilled. They’ve been known to spend over an hour playing in a sink before!
On this day I gave them a bucket of water and straws and showed them how to pinch the straw so the water would stay in it. They tried to transfer some water, but were mostly just interested in why pinching the straw let the water stay in the straw.
We just got this awesome doorbell house toy for Royal’s 3rd birthday and we all love it! There are 4 doors, each with its own key and doorbell. And there are 4 little people whose colors coordinate with the doors.
Using the keys is great pincer practice, and so much more! For Royal and Baloo, it is matching practice as well. Each key is marked with the number of the door, so you can match that way, or just look at the shape of the key and match it to the keyhole. Plus Royal likes to put the people in the door with the color that matches their outfits.
Pincer grip at work!
So many toys are great for the pincer grip, and this is just one example. Since the pincer grip involves many small objects, I particularly like that this one doesn’t!
7. Lacing and making necklaces
Lacing is great for the pincer grip, but not all kids enjoy lacing. So far none of mine do. They really enjoy making necklaces or bracelets though! We like to make necklaces with beads (especially the lettered ones), pasta, cheerios, and cut up straws! The straws are a bit more difficult for Royal but a great exercise for Baloo!
Here is Royal giving it a try…
Royal was disappointed that he couldnt finish his, but Baloo stepped right in and gave him the necklace he made. These boys warm my heart!
What are your favorite ways to practice pincer grip with your kids?