Letting your children use chopsticks to perform certain tasks will promote a good pencil grip (so long as they are held in the right way) and probably cause some laughter.
What will the children learn? The correct way to hold a pencil. Hand–eye coordination. Concentration. Counting skills
Link to early learning goals – Use a pencil and hold it effectively to form recognizable letters, most of which are correctly formed
You will need – Chopsticks or tweezers; small objects (buttons, beads, erasers, small world toys); pots; sand timer
Group size – Small groups
What to do – Lay out some small objects on a flat surface. Give each child a small pot and some chopsticks or tweezers. Show children how to use the chopsticks using a tripod grip. Explain to children that you are going to give them a challenge. The challenge is to pick up as many items as they can using the chopsticks before the sand timer finishes. Start the sand timer. Help the children to hold the chopsticks correctly. Count how many items each child has collected.
Extension activities – Cook some noodles and ask children to try to eat them using the chopsticks. Put glue onto a picture and then sprinkle on some glitter or sand using a finger–thumb grip. Thread beads onto laces. Draw pictures or patterns using different tools, such as chalk, cotton buds, feathers.
This activity is drawn from Play Activities for the Early Years, a book that is full of fun ideas to encourage purposeful play with a chapter for each of the six areas covered in the Early Learning Goals. Each chapter contains 15-20 practical play activities, together with a chart showing clearly which activity covers which learning opportunity.