Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pennies in a jar!

My mom reminded me of the great fine motor skill of picking pennies off the floor/table and putting them into a jar. It primarily encourages the pincer grasp. Older infants, toddlers and younger preschoolers often try to pick up smaller objects using either a raking motion (raking with several fingers into palm) or a side-hand grasp. For fine motor control necessary in writing, children need to develop the pincer grasp between their thumb and first finger.

Notice in the first finger Q is using a fist rake, not a pincer grasp.
However, picking up small objects repeatidly helped teach her that it is most efficient to use a pincer grasp, and the more she practiced the better she got! My dad tried several different coins with her, but found nickels and quarters were too thick and did not force the pincer grasp.

We found her a little bottle with an opening only slightly larger than the pennies to drop them into, and of course it has a lid so she can practice putting it on and off!
She loves this activity and she and Opa had a lot of fun doing it together!

Obviously this activity is appropriate for non-mouthing children or under adult supervision. Sequins, small buttons, hole punches of cardstock, grains of rice and dry beans and tiny beads also work well for this activity!

This could turn into a game, too, with a die added--picking up the number of pennies that were rolled!
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