Tongs require tamariki to coordinate the small muscles in their fingers, hands and wrists. Eye-hand coordination is developed as tamariki concentrate to achieve a task they set themselves. Encouragement from whānau supports confidence and self-belief.

Why do it?

  • This activity helps to strengthen fine muscles in the hands.
  • It strengthens hand-eye coordination as the child needs to carefully watch what’s being picked up and where it’s being put.
  • Success with using the tongs gives children a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment, and that builds confidence.

How to do it

You’ll need:

  • some kitchen tongs
  • things to pick up with the tongs such as cotton balls, milk bottle tops and any other small, safe objects
  • containers to hold and transfer object to and from
  •  Give the child the tongs and the things to pick up and see how they explore them.
  • If you need to, model how you can pick things up by grasping them with the tongs and show them how to move something from one place to another.
  • When they’ve had enough of doing this, see if upping the level of the challenge can re-engage them. Try to pick up other objects which are a different size or shape, such as shells, stones, twigs, or teaspoons.