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Tongs, Tweezers, Clothespins, Pinch clips

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Therapists often recommend the use of tongs to pick up small objects and work on fine motor skills. The long tongs are useful for kids who use a gross grasp and you are trying to get them to use their fingers only. If a client already uses their fingers well, and you want to work on refining their finger use, then you need to use a smaller tool such as tweezers, finger tongs, or pinch clips/clothespins. The large tongs don’t help with refining finger use, as people tend to use their whole hand with the large tongs rather than using a tripod grasp.

bugs with tongs 3web

With the small tongs and tweezers, a tripod grasp is achieved easier because the tweezers are too small to get all of your fingers on them. I like to use tweezers, pinch clips, chop sticks, or clothespins to work on strengthening the muscles that work the fine tripod pinch, and even better is working with training chopsticks. The chopsticks really make you work both sides of the hand.

Some activities that use tongs, pinch clips, and chopsticks:

I love putting bugs into containers and have put together a bug jar with bugs, clothespins and tweezers to work with. You can find the bug jar in the therapy fun store.


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Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.

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