‘Claw Grabbing Machine’ to Strengthen Fine Motor Skills

Fine MotorPreschoolers10 Comments

What does the Claw Grabbing Machine have to do with trying to strengthen fine motor skills? Well, its all about how the child looks at an activity that makes it a success!

I needed a last minute, quick activity for George to do that wouldn’t take long.

We were planning to head out in the morning right away after Henry left for school, but I had to make a quick phone call first and George wanted and activity to do while I was on the phone.

Yay! Great, because that keeps him occupied and I love that he asks to do an activity.

But I hadn’t planned on being around so didn’t have much in mind.

I ended up grabbing some pom poms out of our craft cupboard, along with some clothespins.

I was thinking a simple transfer game that also strengthened his fine motor skills and hands in the process by opening the clothespin as well as hand-eye coordination to pinch the pom poms.

Strengthen fine motor skills using clothespins - aka the 'claw grabbing machine'

I set out a bowl and put the pom poms in it and a skinny cup (a bottle with a thin neck would work too) for him to transfer the pom poms.

We’ve done a fine motor activity with pom poms using tongs in the past.

George wasn’t too excited until I realized it was much like the claw grabbing machine that you find in arcades. This happens to be the only arcade game my kids have played, and Henry as done it successfully while George has yet to grab a stuffed animal to win.

Transfer pom poms to strengthen fine motor skills

I mentioned that to George and it was instantly an exciting game to try.

He dipped the clothespin in the bowl to pinch a pom pom.

Pinching the clothespins was actually quite hard for George.

Strengthen fine motor skills by transferring pom poms with clothespins

Not all clothespins are created equal. We went through my bag of clothespins to find an easier opening one for him because some were quite stiff.

Once he got the hang of the clothespin he went right at it with no problem. Dipping his ‘claw’ into the bowl and pulling out his prize!

He dropped it in the cup as his prize for later!

Clothespins are a wonderful material to strengthen fine motor skills for kids

It sounds so silly that the same activity can instantly be turned around with a simple wording of what they’re doing. Making it something relate-able to them makes all the difference.

More ways to strengthen fine motor skills:

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  1. says

    I absolutely love your website! I saw this on a pin in Pinterest and since my son struggles with his fine motor skills, we decided to give it a try. My son and I just pinched the pom poms and laid the grabbed pom-pom clothes pins down in a line. I wasn’t sure if releasing in a cup would be too challenging or not. It seems as though my son is showing improvement and I cannot wait to play the full claw game with him now. I’m also featuring this activity, in addition to another one, on my blog. Check it out. http://mattismom.blogspot.com/p/fine-motor.html

  2. Leah says

    I love this idea! I nanny for a 2.5 year old, and we tried a game like this with small salad tongs one time, but they were too big and she couldn’t get the hang of it. We’ll see, now, if we can find a clothes pin that she can pinch… :-)

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