Nov 11, 2015

WonderWorks: Tweezer & Tongs (outreach edition)

Fine motor skills, sorting, and technology (tools) -- this STEM lesson has it all!

Today's Project: Tweezers & Tongs (outreach edition)
salad tongs (medium and large size)
pom-poms (teeny and average size)
cotton balls
wiffle balls
egg cartons


cover art How to catch an elephant / Schwartz, Amy
This is such a strange little storyline, but it's got some great interactive elements if you play them up.  The kids loved this one!

cover art Chopsticks / Rosenthal, Amy Krouse
See the original, in-house version of this lesson here.

 What Kids Do: use the tweezers to pick up teeny pom-poms and put them into cups, egg cartons, etc.

 This young scientist found out that without pinching the tweezers together, she could still wedge the pom pom between the tips. But it wasn't reliable.
 Pretty soon, she figured out on her own that she could pinch closer to the tips and pick them up more easily.
 Feathers were also easy to pick up with the tweezers.
 With the medium salad tongs, kids picked up cotton balls and pom poms and sorted them into egg cartons.

 Great sorting and pattern skills happening here!

 "These look like an alligator!  Chomp! Chomp!"
 Hmmm... what happens when you use TWO sets of tongs?
The large tongs (this scissor style that comes apart easily was hard to use.  I don't recommend this style.) were used to pick up the wiffle balls and put them on small plates I found in the daycare center's play kitchen area.

 I also borrowed some tongs the center had in their kitchen.
 "These look like a shark!"
 I also found these wiffle balls in one of their toy purses.
Other interesting things that happened: stuffing pompoms into the little hole on the egg carton lid...
 And exploring the texture of feathers brushing against cups.
Hindsight Tip: I'd brought along some other supplies but decided in the end to keep the table set-up simple. I think that was a wise choice.

The teachers were quite excited about all of the fine motor practice and hand-eye coordination that this lesson encouraged. The kids just had fun figuring out how to use these tools. (Although, truthfully -- they were done playing with this one earlier than they had been with the geoboards.)

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