Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tonging Pom Poms

Toddlers and preschoolers love using tongs and they provide fabulous fine motor development. Tongs prepare children to master the movements necessary for both scissoring (open, close) and pencil control.

We teach our kiddos to verbalize "open" and "close" as they work with the tongs.

A great starter activity is to use really big pompoms and large, but easy to squeeze tongs. I get all mine at the Salvation Army. (tongs, that is...)

Always encourage your child to work from left to write, the way that print runs, to train their brain to work that way. (prereading skill)

Your child may need a little hand-over-hand guidance initially, but they will soon be moving poms like a pro! You can then move on to smaller pom poms (or cotton balls). Fluffy objects are easier to tong because they squeeze a little big (they have some 'give' to them) and you can easily catch any part of the pom with the tongs. Hard objects (such as marbles, rocks, buttons, etc.) are a little more difficult to tong because you have to get a better hold on them to pick them up and maintain an even squeeze to keep them in the tongs but not shooting out from too much pressure.

You can also turn this into a color practice or a counting activity!
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