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Pincer grasp

My daughter is almost 1 years old and still has difficulty with pincer grasp and using isolated fingers (thumb and index) to pick up small objects. She’s able to eat finger foods and puffs, but she rakes food into her fingers and stuffs 2-3 fingers in her mouth. What can I do to help help her develop pincer grasp? Thanks!

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Just to add, I’ve tried placing the puffs in an egg carton but she still is able to get 2-3 fingers into the egg carton to pick up the puffs. I recently tried placing pom poms in a whisk for her to pull out but she doesn’t quite get the concept yet. I will keep trying the pom pom and whisk with her.

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Hi! I love the idea of putting the puffs in an egg carton to discourage the raking. That’s great!

As a PT, I would recommend continuing to help your baby strengthen the gross motor muscles in the shoulders, arms, and core through lots of
floortime play, especially crawling. Gross motor strength is really the foundation for fine motor activities.

I’ll tag some awesome OTs to see what they may be able to suggest.

@tots-mary @BreeMilani @OT.ideas.for.littles @OTmomma @Otholly @AlexaOT @OTRoxx9984 @Twofishtherapy

A few activities that I use for helping isolate pincer:
-have her take cheerio/puff from you as you hold it between thumb/forefinger
-pipe cleaners in a pasta strainer
-put fruit loops on a straw/pipe cleaner
-take an old container lid, cut holes. string ribbon through and tie on both ends for her to pull back and forth

  • coloring with broken crayons
    -poke a dot books or finger painting to work pointer isolation

And then lots of gross motor play and weight bearing through the hands!


Welcome to the community and thanks for offering these tips!

Hi there, welcome! @York_OT has some great ideas!

When she’s eating those puffs, try to hold one up off of the high chair tray and see if she’ll use a pincer grasp to remove the puff from your finger. By you holding if for her, it’s preventing her from using that raking motion.

Another activity that I like is putting some small pieces of painter’s tape ( a couple of inches in length) on her high chair or on the wall with a small corner lifted. I’ve found that babies love to use their pincer grasps to pull the tape off. :slight_smile:
Let us know how it goes!!

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