Maria Montessori pointed out that the development of fine motor skills is directly connected to the development of the brain. In a Montessori pre-school classroom, children thus participate in many activities that help improve their fine motor skills (coordinated small muscle movements in the hands, wrists, and fingers) so that they will be able to engage in practical life activities independently.
In the below video by My Montessori Works, there are three Montessori-style activities that help children develop their pencil grip. Have a look:
Activity 1 is tweezing: you’ll need two shallow dishes, one with coffee beans and one empty (to transfer the coffee beans into) and tweezers. Your child will simply transfer the beans one at a time, from one container to the other. Children could also use their fingers to do this.
Activity 2 is corn picking: you’ll need a tray, some dry corn, a small bowl and tweezers. Use the tweezers to pick the kernels off the dry corn and place in the bowl. Another application (and more British version) of this same idea could be ‘seed sorting’: pour a bag of bird seed into a bowl and have four empty containers – your child will then sort like seeds into different bowls.
Activity 3 is clothes pegs: you’ll need a tray, bowl and clothes pegs. Your child will remove the clothes pegs and pinch them onto the side of the bowl, and then pinch them off and put them back into the container.
These activities are great for strengthening eye-hand coordination and concentration, and the pincer grip is used not only for writing but daily activities like tying shoe laces and buttoning shirts.
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Photo by Jerry Wang on Unsplash