Happy New Year! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful winter break. I have spent the first half of the break in Virginia visiting with my parents, my sister and brother in law and my niece and nephew. It was a lovely visit but it sure was cold!
During the month of December the Pigeon Plums started to work with lessons that pertain to the holidays and winter months. These lessons included language cards depicting activities one can do outside in the snow, a basket with a box, wrapping paper, tape and a ribbon, a miniature tree with star ornaments to be put on and taken off, a cinnamon stick and a spice grater, and the holiday gift/art project. Not only do these lessons expand their vocabulary but they also assist in strengthening their pincer grasp.
” He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of a man’s intelligence.” -Maria Montessori
The pincer grasp you ask? The pincer grasp is a sophisticated two finger grasp of the coordination of the thumb and index finger. The development of these small muscles builds from the larger muscles of the hand to the more refined movements of the fingers.
Very young children will naturally use a fist grip, grasping objects with all five fingers of the hand, infants and young toddlers use this grasp naturally.
Next, the toddler will typically employ a four fingered grip, coordinating the thumb and the three largest fingers to pick up things. This grip is a important step in the development of the muscles of the hand, even if it is a clumsier grip. From there, toddlers will start to grasp items with just their thumb and index finger.
Practice is the only way to improve this very important skill, that will eventually allow your child to accomplish tasks that we as adults don’t even think twice about such as feeding ourselves with utensils, writing with a pencil and cutting with scissors.
“Those children who have been able to work with their hands make headway in their development, and reach a strenth of character which is conspicuous,” – Maria Montessori
Wishing you all the best in this new year,
Ms. Dori and Ms. Šárka