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There are many benefits of encouraging children to use small tools and utensils. Tweezers are a particularly useful example of a tool that provides opportunities for the refinement of hand-eye coordination and fine motor control. It allows a subtle and indirect preparation for writing by gently encouraging the hand to curl into the 'pincer grip' used for writing. Working with Tweezers also provides an engaging exercise which captures a child's attention and promotes attention to detail and sustained concentration.
These Tweezers, while plastic, provide a useful early-stage transferring activity for toddlers and younger pre-schoolers.
The Tweezers measure approximately 11cm with a 'span' of only 3cm at its widest point. This small span is what makes the tool so ideal for little hands - since the Tweezers only spread out a few centimetres it naturally encourages the child's hand to collect them with the fingers rather than the whole hand. This promotes the refinement of a more mature, controlled pincer grip.
The use of Tweezers for transferring activities can be staggered to offer increasing levels of difficulty. In my own Montessori classroom we utilise these different applications:
- Transferring soft objects (such as pom-poms)
- Transferring larger, hard objects (such as wooden beads)
- Transferring smaller, hard objects
- Transferring objects with a specific control-of-error (such as transferring small bells with the child being encouraged to move them without letting them make a sound!)
- For a particularly difficult challenge (ideal for older, more experienced pre-schoolers or primary schoolers requiring some remedial exercises of finger strength)...demonstrate to a child how he or she can use the Tweezers in one hand to hold a bead steady while using the other hand to push the thread through the bead!