Pincer Grasp Fine Motor Activity

This fine motor activity uses a material you might have in your house right now.  Finding easy ways to incorporate household items into developmental progression is important for therapists.  Parents can easily use those items to help kids develop the skills they need for handwriting, clothing fasteners, tool use (scissors, staplers, forks, knives, rulers, screwdrivers) more easily, allowing for increased independence and success during activities.  This pincer grasp  fine motor activity improves many areas (described below) but is a great way to help kids improve pincer grasp.

Pincer grasp activity for fine motor skill development in kids

Pincer Grasp Fine Motor Activity

You’ll need just a few materials for this fine motor activity:
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Sticky tack (also known as removable poster putty)
Small beads- We used alphabet beads
The Flower Play Mat to hold the beads and to encourage in-hand manipulation skills

What is Pincer Grasp?

Pincer grasp is a skill that develops around 9-12 months of age.  At this time, children are typically able to pick up small items such as cereal with the pads of the thumb and pointer finger.  This pad-to-pad grip is called the pincer grasp.

Pincer grasp is important for many fine motor tasks.  Any functional skill that involved holding items between the thumb and index finger are based on effective development of pincer grasp.

There are things that can impair pincer grasp.  When a child holds their pencil or any small item such as beads with a squashed thumb web space, they are ineffective in in-hand manipulation, dexterity, and strength.  Try these activities to work on an open thumb web space.

Use this FIne motor play mat for kids to help build and boost fine motor skills.

To complete this pincer grasp fine motor activity, you’ll need to place the beads in a small bowl.  The partitions of the The Flower Play Mat are perfect for holding small beads.  The wells of the mat are deep, which required children to cup their palm into a curved arch.  This motion of the hand as they pick up beads with a pincer grasp allows them to use in-hand manipulation to squirrel beads away into their palm while strengthening the intrinsic muscles of the hand.  What a powerhouse set of tasks with just one single task of picking up beads!

Use poster tack to help kids improve fine motor skills like pincer grasp.

Next, use the beads to push into the sticky surface of the poster tack.  Children can use a pincer grasp to hold the beads as they press them into the resistive dough.

This action further strengthens the intrinsic muscles of the hands, making those hands stronger for skills like pencil grasp, coloring, and manipulating items.

We used the letter beads to spell words.  It was fun to see the impression of the letters in the sticky poster putty.

Kids will love this pincer grasp fine motor activity that uses beads and poster sticky tack.

Try a few of these other pincer grasp activities:

Neat Pincer Grasp Fine Motor Activity Buttoning Tips and Tricks