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Children learn through play. As an occupational therapist who works with children and youth, I use games and toys almost every day to help develop important cognitive, visual perceptual, motor, sensory, social, play and leisure skills. While many different types of activities can be used in therapy, this blog focuses on off-the-shelf games and toys that are accessible to most. Whether you are a therapist, parent, teacher, or a game lover like me, I hope you discover something useful while you are here. Learn a different way to play a game you already own or discover a new game for your next family game night. Either way, just go play. It's good for you!

The OT Magazine named The Playful Otter one of the Top 5 Pediatric OT Blogs.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Games with Tweezers and Tongs

Use games with tweezers and tongs to help develop hand skills.
Tweezers and tongs are tools that most occupational therapists are quite familiar with. Depending on the style, games with tweezers and tongs can be used to help develop

  • hand and finger strength
  • palmar arches
  • tripod grasp
  • rounded web space
  • separation of the two sides of the hand
  • stability

Below is a list of tweezer/tong games that I have blogged about. Click on any link to go to the post about that game.


Mini Muffin Match Up - Tweezers have a cup/ball on the end.

Avalanche Fruit Stand - Large, hard plastic tweezers that can't be adjusted.

Operation - Metal tweezers with flat tips that are attached to the game.

Feed the Animals - Some of my least favorite tweezers.

Thin Ice - These are rounded at the curved end so they will not close up on you.

Bed Bugs -Grooved on the inside for better grasp.

Make 'N' Break Challenge - Long, flat, wooden tongs.

Tweezer Tongs Sorting Game - Popcorn tongs, one of my favorite sets of tongs.

Gumball Grab - Same tongs as Tweezers Tongs Sorting Game.

Scatterpillar Scramble - I've taken these tweezers out of the box and use them with other games.

Perler Biggie Beads and Tray Cards - Buy the tweezers separately. They are pointed and pick up very small beads.

Super Sorting Pie - Large tweezers, strong plastic.

Dino Meal - Flexible alligator tweezers.

Squeaky Snacky Squirrels - A grabber tong you use your whole hand.

Hoppy Floppy's Happy Hunt - Another grabber tong that you hold in the whole hand.

Wok and Roll - Tweezers have a small circular indent on the inside/bottom to aid in picking up small pieces.

Barbeque Party - Large, flat, plastic tongs. All food pieces are ribbed on the sides for easier pickup.

Dr. Microbe - Thin, pointed, plastic tweezers. I like them.

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