Tweezer activities for children to develop fine motor skills for handwriting

Children’s Tweezer Activities To Develop Fine Motor Skills for handwriting.

Tweezers are valuable tools for developing fine motor skills in the fingers, hands and wrists. Their use should be encouraged from a young age alongside other fine motor development activities. This will support your child’s progression towards the effective tripod pencil grip taught throughout schools in the UK. I like to combine the use of tweezers with maths skills for an easy 2 in 1.

Children's Gator Grabber Tweezers strengthen muscles in the hands, developing the pincer grasp for school readiness.
Children’s Gator Grabber Tweezers strengthen muscles in the hands, developing the pincer grasp for school readiness.

For older children or as your child progresses with the tweezers move on to picking up smaller and smaller items.  Use a variety of tongues and tweezers to add interest and to increase levels of dexterity.

WARNING! When using tweezers, many of the activities involve small pieces which present a choking hazard and should not be performed by children under 3 years of age. Older children should be fully supervised by an adult. We would advise that everything gets counted out and counted back in again to ensure no small pieces are left around that could cause choking after the activity.

Activity 1. Stuck in the swamp! Swamp rescue!

Get a little character (Lego person for example), fill a bowl with cocoa pops and stick your little characters just in sight. Use your tweezers to rescue your characters from the swamp and transfer them into a bowl.

Activity 2. Fruity stack ’em up…

Play vegetable or fruit stack ’em up. Cut cuboids of fruit and place them in a bowl. Grab a plate and take it in turns to use your tweezers to transfer a shape to the plate, piling one shape upon another until the pile falls down to end the game. You could remove the competitive element and build a wall of fruit using your tongs, each taking it in turns to add a fruit brick; see how high or long you can build your wall.

Activity 3. Ted’s got spots!

Get some red felt and cut out some small circles or you could use red beads. Place them around Ted’s tummy. ‘Oh no! Ted’s got spots!’ Ask your child if they can be Doctor and remove Ted’s spots into a bowl using their tweezers to make Ted feel better.

Activity 4. Ant escape!

Buy some of those small plastic ants (careful of choking – sorry, I have to say that.) and place them in a long line from the back door through the house. Using your tweezers capture the ants and transfer them to a jar – happy fun!

Activity 5. Sand snakes. Cut up some pipe cleaners into 5cm lengths (your snakes) and fill a tray with play sand. Stick the ‘snakes’ into the sand so that they are just peeking out. Have your child pull them out and pop them in a jar using their tweezers. You can count as you do it.

Activity 6. Pom Pom beat the clock. Place 2 bowls at opposite ends of the room, fill one with pompoms and leave the other empty. Using a sandtimer see how many pompoms they can transfer in 2 minutes. Alternatively. You could both have a bowl at either end of the room and in the centre of the room place a bowl full of pompoms and the sandtimer. Running back and forth collecting a pompom in your tweezers and filling up your bowl have a race to see who can get the most pompoms in their bowl by the time the sand timer runs out.

Activity 7. Nature tweezer trail. How many different items can you collect using your tweezers from around the garden?

Activity 8. Santa’s dropped his bells! Great for Christmas – get a handful of the coloured jingly bells from your local craft shop. Write Santa’s address on an envelope. Tell your child you discovered a lot of bells lying all around the house, Santa must have been checking to see if you were good. ‘Let’s post them back to Santa as he must really need them’. Using the tweezers have your child transfer the bells one by one into the envelope that you can hold open for your child. You can repeat this at least once a week to let them know that Santa’s watching! Exciting… You could do it with Santa’s buttons, pom poms from his hat.

Activity 9. Look for every opportunity to use tweezers. Whilst playing board games use tweezers to move the pieces instead of using the fingers. Use serving tongues at the dinner table for salads and vegetables etc. and ask your child to serve a little to each of you or you could all have a pair of tweezers at the dinner table – even more fun!

Activity 10. Remove the spikes. Make a large playdoh hedgehog without spikes, push some large buttons or large coins into it for the spikes. Use the tweezers to pull out the spikes. You could do a ladybird one with black buttons sticking out too. This adds some resistance to the activity for more advanced tweezer users.

Activity 11. All mixed up! Purchase a bag of mixed nuts or seeds and have your child use their tweezers to sort them according to type into separate bowls.

Activity 12. Feed the frog. Get a cardboard box. Draw and colour a frog with a very large mouth on one side of the box. Cut out the mouth. Have your child feed pom poms or a mixture of small sized foods to the frog using their tweezers.

Activity 13. Pompom muffin tray sorter. Cut out some coloured circles and place 1 of each colour into a separate compartment of the muffin tray. Take some coloured pompoms and using the tweezers match and transfer the pompoms to the correct colour, in the tray. You could also label an egg carton 1 through to 12, get out the dried beans or dried macaroni and tweezer across the right number of beans or macaroni pieces per compartment. Old ice cube trays work really well for transferring beads and marbles into using your tweezers too.

More fine motor skills solutions available in our shop. Just click on the photo for further information:

8 Crayon Rocks in a muslin bag
8 Crayon Rocks® in a muslin bag – the perfect natural start towards developing a strong tripod grip for efficient handwriting in later years.
Fine motor skills dyspraxia toolset for strengthening the fine motor skills. Fun scissor scoop for pre-scissor skills development. Endless play possibilities. Can be used at bath time too.
Fine motor skills dyspraxia toolset for strengthening the fine motor skills. Fun scissor scoop for pre-scissor skills development. Endless play possibilities. Can be used at bath time too.
Ideal game for children with dyspraxia and fine motor skill difficulties. The Avalanche fruit stand game. Comes with 2 jumbo tweezers that you can use for other fine motor skills activities.
Ideal game for children with dyspraxia and fine motor skill difficulties. The Avalanche fruit stand game. Comes with 2 jumbo tweezers that you can use for other fine motor skills activities.

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