Tweezers for Toddlers? Which Ones To Choose?
My toddler loves transferring work. I wanted to set up some fresh transferring working with tweezers but I wasn't sure which tweezers to use. Whenever I am not sure about what materials to use I try and give my toddler a choice and see what he uses. Here are a few tweezer options he tried today. I'm still not sure which ones we will use but I now know that he is able to use them all with a high level of success.
Above Otto (2yrs) is using the Learning Resources Jumbo Tweezers. These really are jumbo, you can see for a toddler they require movement of the whole hand. This is important to note, for my toddler he is using the whole hand for all of the tweezers, rather than the pincer.
Please note that in Montessori we want practical life experiences, especially in the home, to be real as possible. My purpose for providing practical life trays is really to build concentration, coordination and hand strength in a similar way that an educational toy might. My toddler loves transferring activities like this, but if yours doesn't don't push it, you will be able to find other fine motor work they will enjoy. If you are looking for tweezer/tong or transferring work in the kitchen please see here.
Tweezers like these can be used for sorting/categorising, transferring, free play (playing shops), on the nature table or in a mud kitchen, I like to add fine motor work to as many areas of work and play as I can.
Pom poms are good for this type of practical life tray. The pom poms can be transferred from one container to another and sorted by colour or size, but the best thing about pom poms for this age group, is that they are squishy and soft making them easy for the toddler to grasp. I also set up a similar tray to this with mini pine cones but my toddler wasn't at all interested in them, so if your toddler ignores the tray completely reassess and perhaps change up some of the materials.
I love the look of these Fine Motor Tweezer Tongs and couldn't wait for Otto to try them. It took Otto a lot of practice until he was able to use them with one hand but I love them and the benefits will really come when he is able to use them with his fingers in that tripod/triangular grip. These are the tweezer option that he used for the longest amount of time today.
These are also Jumbo Tweezers (similar here US) but are much more flexible than the yellow Jumbo Tweezers pictured at the start. These were super easy for Otto to use from the start.
These are the Gator Grabber Tweezers that came in our Fine Motor Tool Set. These were quite stiff but much smaller than the other tweezers we tried. I could see that out of all of them these worked his hands the most and required the most strength.
These are the Squeezy Tweezers also in the Fine Motor Tool Set.
Otto also found the bamboo tongs super easy to use for this activity, perhaps too easy he was picking up two or three at a time. These tongs are simple toast tongs that you can get at kitchen stores, our are 20 cm (≈7.8 inches) long.
Other relevant HWM articles include:
- Montessori Activities - Transferring with Mini Tongs or Tweezers
- Montessori Transferring Sets - lots of ideas and inspiration 18months-3years+
- Give The Toddler Some Mini Tongs! - these are our favourite tweezer/tongs for the toddler (<3yrs) in the kitchen.
- Five Minute Montessori - Give the Child some Tongs! - tongs for older children (3yrs+).
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