A pincer grasp enables a child to pick up small items using their thumb and index finger. A strong pincer grasp allows children to be successful with handwriting, dressing, and many other life skills. The following are some fun ways to help develop a pincer grasp using items you can find around your home.
Incorporating these types of fine-motor activities into a child’s day can help develop strong finger and hand muscles.
- Color with broken crayons; your child should only be able to use their fingertips.
- Coloring while laying on their tummy so they can only use their fingers to color.
- Play-Doh—pinch it, roll it into small balls, make long snakes.
- Pick-up Party—pick up small objects with a tweezer or tongs, and place them in a container.
- Laundry time—use clothespins, and encourage children to clip clothes. The resistance from the spring will help build finger strength.
- Beading—use the pincer grip to slide beads onto pipe cleaners. As the child progresses the pipe cleaner can be replaced with a string.
- Shaker making—place beads, dry noodles, or other small objects into an empty water bottle to make a fun musical instrument.
- Pay day—place coins into a piggy bank.
- Stickers—peeling stickers from a sticker book and placing them on themselves or onto paper to create a fun piece of artwork.
- Snacking—place your child’s snack in an ice cube tray or small dish. This will only allow them to pick up their snack with their fingertips.
- Bubble wrap
- Pop large or small packing bubbles by pinching with thumb and index finger.
- Place the bubble wrap on a hard surface, and pop the bubbles by pushing down on them.
Amy McMahon, OT
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