Tips to Encourage Pincer Grasp

by | Feb 28, 2020 | Occupational Therapy

Tips to Encourage Pincer Grasp

What is pincer grasp?

Pincer grasp is when the index finger and the thumb meet to pick up small objects in a controlled fashion, which typically emerges between 9 to 12 months of age.

Why is pincer grasp important?

Pincer grasp is important for a child to pick up small objects as well as a pre-cursor to holding a pencil, manipulating clothing fasteners, holding feeding utensils and encourages more precise grasp.

Activities for Kids That Encourage Pincer Grasp

  • Spinning tops
  • Use medicine droppers to move water from one container to another
  • Clothespins
  • Tear small pieces of paper to create pictures
  • Use coffee stoppers or tooth picks to push into Styrofoam
  • Jenga
  • Lite Brite
  • Cut the index finger and thumb out of glove to encourage use of those two fingers only
  • Connect Four
  • Stringing beads
  • Card games
  • Lacing cards

Activities for Babies That Encourage Pincer Grasp

  • Pull tissues out of a box
  • Stacking rings
  • Play with blocks
  • Remove puff balls from whisks
  • Hand finger food to child using pincer to encourage grabbing with index finger and thumb
  • Large knobbed puzzles
  • Placing and removing pegs from board

If your child has not developed pincer grasp following the age of 12 months or you would like more information on your child’s grasping development please consider an Occupational Therapy evaluation to further address these concerns!

Kate Archer M.S., OTR/L