A pincer grasp is when you use your thumb and the tip of your index finger to pick up an object. As children develop they move from a gross raking grasp involving their whole hand to a more refined pincer grasp as seen in the picture below.
A pincer grasp is important for many functional activities such as zipping a zipper, picking up small objects, using a key, etc. Here are some activity ideas to help develop a pincer grasp:
- Use tongs to pick up items
- Set out a muffin pan and give the child small items to sort and place into the cups
- Stickers – any activity that involves stickers helps practice the pincer grasp
- Bigger stickers will be easier and small stickers will be more challenging
- Hide small coins, beads, etc. in playdough and have the child get them out
- String beads on a pipe cleaner
- Any game involving clothespins
- The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game
- Lite Brite
- Mr. Ball
There are many different activities that work on the pincer grasp. Be creative and have fun!