One of the easiest and cheapest ways we can incorporate fine motor skills into practical life activities is by using mini tongs. Mini tongs and tweezers can be used by children from around 18 months right up to around five years of age.
Adult tongs are too bulky for young children and require a whole hand grasp. Smaller tongs are much easier for the child to manipulate successfully and tweezer-like tongs are fantastic at strengthening the muscles in the fingers and promoting the pincer grasp.
There are tons of mini kitchen tongs and tweezers that are suitable for children so keep your eyes open at speciality Montessori stores or at your local kitchen supply shop. I always find the best kitchen tools when I'm not looking so if you have a younger child, pick these up when you see them don't wait until you need them. If you find some mini tongs that your child loves, get an extra pair. They are just so useful you'll be reaching for them all the time.
Some of the children's kitchen tongs that we use include:
- Children's Training Chopsticks
- Bamboo Tongs
- Small Toast Tongs
- Children's/ Mini Tongs - similar at Montessori Services without the latch.
- Children's / Mini Tongs
- Fish/Seafood Tweezers
- Mini Stainless Steel Tongs for Kids - these have a fantastic little grasper at the end making it really easy for the child to pick up small items. Similar at Montessori Services and Amazon. Similar to sugar tongs.
- Mini Tongs with Hands
If you set up practical life trays or have a few different practical life activities out for your child/ren I suggest getting more, we have around five of the little metal tweezers (g.) that you can see in this post here. These are by far our most used mini tongs and I will put them out almost every time my preschoolers is in the kitchen (chopping, grating, peeling, transferring).
The other tongs we use a lot are the mini version of the adult tongs (d. & e.). These are perhaps best from 2.5-3yrs+ as they have a latch that can pinch younger children. We use these the most at meal times and snack, so my preschooler can comfortably serve his own foods like vegetables, pasta and salad. These are also really useful, ours are used daily.
Mini tongs can empower the child. We want to set the child up for success and the tongs better suited to small hands allow the child to successfully complete the task. If we present the child with larger and heavier adult tongs that are difficult to grasp and control the child may give up easily as they are just too challenging.
This post includes affiliate links. Thank you for your support.