The development of a pincer grasp is a big fine motor milestone. A pincer grasp is using the tip of the thumb and index finger to pick up small objects and is typically developed between 9 and 12 months of age. It is a skill needed to complete a variety of daily tasks as the child gets older, such as coloring, writing, eating with utensils, using scissors, and fastening zippers, buttons and snaps. Meal time is a great time to practice this with your young one. By providing them with small bites of food, they are able to practice using those small hand muscles more accurately. Another great way to practice this is with ice cube trays. Place small items such as pom pom balls or Cheerios in the tray (a single item in each space). The ice cube tray does not allow your child to use their whole hand to rake the item into their palm, but rather forces them to use their fingertips in order to get the item out. Ice cube trays are also helpful if you have a child who puts whole handfuls of food in their mouth. The ice cube tray encourages your child to get one food item out at a time rather than grabbing a handful.
~Sarah Eller, occupational therapist
Daily tips, activities, and suggestions on how to naturally embed speech, language, play, fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive skills into your child's day, often using the materials already found in your home environment.
Marena Mitchell is a speech-language pathologist