Looking for fresh, fun ways to play with kids tongs to build fine motor skills? We’ve got you covered!
Why Play With Tongs?
As an OT, one of my favorite tools for building fine motor skills is kids tongs. Activities using tongs are great for helping kids develop the strength and coordination they need in the small muscles of the hands – the muscles responsible for cutting with scissors, grasping a pencil, and writing.
Most importantly, when kids use tongs, they are getting great practice with using the precision side of their hand (the thumb, first and second fingers) to squeeze and release. Learning how to separate this side of the hand from the ulnar side (the fourth and fifth fingers) and learning how to tuck those fourth and fifth fingers into the hand while working with the grasping fingers is key in the progression of fine motor skills.
It’s this skill that allows a child to grasp a pencil correctly and to use the precision side of the hand to open and close scissors fluently and in a coordinated manner.
Ways to Play With Kids Tongs…
1 || Stacking blocks
Challenge kids to create a tall tower using only their tongs to pick up and stack blocks!
2 || Painting with cotton balls
Have kids use tongs to pick up a cotton ball and dip it into the paint. Then, they have to maintain a tight squeeze to be able to hold onto the cotton ball as they paint on their paper.
3 || Fill a container with pompoms or other manipulatives
Use a container with a wide open top, or try one with a smaller opening for more of a challenge.
4 || Add tongs as a prop for a sensory bin or water table
This bobbing for apples idea from Fantastic Fun and Learning is super fun!
5 || Pretend cooking/grilling
This is a favorite at The Treehouse – kids love creating their own cookout, flipping pretend burgers and dogs on a “grill” with their tongs.
6 || Add tongs as a prop for play dough
Tongs are a fun addition to play with play dough – great for squishing and squeezing against resistance.
One of our favorite circus-themed fine motor activities!
8 || Sorting activities
This sorting activity with tongs from The Intentional Momma is perfect!
9 || Move game pieces with tongs
Add a new spin on board games by challenging kids to move their game pieces using only a set of tongs!
10 || Pom pom mats
Our Favorite Kids Tongs
10 Props to Pair With Kids Tongs
3 || Container with hole cut in top
4 || Egg cartons
5 || Paper towel tubes/toilet paper tubes
7 || Blocks
8 || Play dough
9 || Fake food
10 || Other manipulatives
-ping pong balls
-flat sided or regular marbles
What are your favorite ways to play with kids tongs? Leave us a comment below and let us know!