Give the child some pegs - for fine motor skills + hand strength!
Pegs are a common household item that can be used for many children's activities. Depending on the type of pegs you have, you can start using pegs with your child from toddlerhood. Flexible plastic pegs can work best for young children while stronger stainless steel or wooden pegs are fantastic for preschoolers. Pegs can be found in many grocery stores and mini wooden pegs are available in stationary or educational supply stores.
Pegs that we pinch the end to use are fantastic for helping children develop the pincer grasp, fine motor skills, hand strength, coordination and dexterity. Large wooden play pegs are great for developing whole hand strength and creativity.
Many pegging activities like pegging artwork or pegging washing to be dried, can be incorporated into everyday life. Here are a few pegging activities that we've enjoyed.
Put some pegs on the side of a small bucket (or container) and ask the child to remove them. Or put the pegs inside the bucket and show the child how to put them around the edge. Make sure the pegs are easy to use and won't pinch little fingers. For very young children I've found plastic clothes pegs work the best. We start this work at around 18-24 months+.
Dolly pegs don't require the child to use the pincer grasp but they are a good introduction to pegging and hanging.
If your child is too young to use a standard peg, Dolly pegs are a good option.
Pegging wet artwork up to dry on a child-size clothes hanger. Pegs and a child-size hanger are a good addition to an children's art area.
Pegging socks to the clothes hanger.
We've found our stainless steel pegs are much harder for the child to use, I would recommend them for 3yrs+.
We like to use shoe stickers so Otto can put his shoes on the right feet. But when shoe stickers won't work (like for wet wellies) we can peg our shoes and boots together!
Pegging shoes is a great tip I found in How to Raise an Amazing Child.
We can peg dolls clothes. The dolls clothes are small and easy for the child to manage.
We've created a clothesline using yarn between two child-size chairs.
If your child likes to build forts, large play pegs can help to keep the fabric up.
Here Otto has put the pegs on the back of the chairs to create his fort.
These large pegs require the whole hand to work.
We can use small pegs to make a garland. We can hang flowers, feathers or leaves to make a nature garland. We could hang photographs or birthday cards. Here we are hanging laminated butterflies to go above our nature table.
Resources: Waldorf Large Wooden Play Pegs (AU), these look good too (AU), (similar here UK)(similar here US), Wooden Dolly Pegs (c/o Manine Montessori), Stainless Steel Pegs (AU).
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