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Children using tongs to pick up packing peanuts.

Kids will love racing to feed their elephants, while working on their fine motor skills. Carry your peanuts using tongs instead of fingers!

Skill Areas Addressed (See Glossary):

  • Fine motor skills
  • Grasp
  • Strength
  • Visual motor integration

What You Will Need:

  • Bowl or other container (see below)
  • Peanuts or penne pasta
  • Tongs, tweezers, kids tongs, or scoopers

How To Do It:

  • Set up a bowl at 1 end of the room to act as the elephant’s mouth.
  • Spread out a pile of peanuts or penne pasta on a table at the opposite end of the room.
  • Have your child race to pick up the peanuts using only their tongs (tweezers or scoopers), and carry them across the room to place in the hungry elephant’s mouth! Don’t drop your peanut! Do over and over again until there are no peanuts left!

How to Change It Up:

  • Set up 2 stations, and have the kids race each other!
  • If your child has excellent fine motor skills, try using a paper towel roll standing upright as the elephant’s trunks instead. Make it even more challenging by having them drop the peanuts or penne into the opening of an empty soda bottle or milk jug.
  • Use 2 spoons, chopsticks, a drinking straw bent in half, or 2 pencils instead of tongs.
  • Too hard? Simply spread out the peanuts on the floor or table, and place the bowl right next to them. Even just transferring them into the container using the tongs will give a workout to the small muscles of the hand.

Explore More Activites Like This!

Explore more activities to promote development in children, and check out our health center for children.

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This content is provided in collaboration with The Inspired Treehouse and has been reviewed by the editorial board.

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