Some of my favorite activities to plan for preschool are fine motor activities. This fine motor color sorting activity using jumbo plastic tweezers was a huge success with my students.
I began by setting out half sheets of colored paper to serve as sorting mats. I asked the students to identify each color as I placed them on the table. Placing a plate of these one inch Rainbow Color Cubes and these awesome Foam Beads on the table, I again asked the students to identify the various colors.
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I quickly described the task to the students, and demonstrated how to sort the foam pieces using these Jumbo Tweezers. The students were eager to try it themselves, and this is what happened.
Sorting by color was the easier task for the students. However, for most of them, it took some practice to get used to the tweezers. I like these jumbo tweezers because they are not super forgiving, so they really help strengthen the small muscles in the hands and wrists.
Above, you can see that this student is using his whole hand to control the tweezers.
This student is using her thumb and pincher fingers to squeeze the tweezers, thus controlling them in a more traditional way.
After a while, students began stacking the foam pieces on top one another to see how tall they could make towers. This took a great amount a patience and dexterity for a group of three and four year olds.
This student used two hands to manipulate the tweezers as she tried to pick up two foam beads at one time. I did not intervene as students experimented with various techniques for using the tweezers. They each found a way to hold and use the tweezers that was comfortable, and as the small muscles in their hands develop, the way they use fine motor tools, such as tweezers, will also change and develop.
I have to admit, I think the product of this activity is pleasing to look at. After the students finished, we had a short discussion on what they enjoyed about the activity, then I excused them for free choices centers. When it was time to use the preschool table for snack time, I pulled out the colored sheets form under the foam pieces, which mixed them up, and invited the students to sort the foam pieces back into their original containers, thus adding another sorting activity.