Improve your child’s eye-hand coordination and strengthen her hand muscles!

For this Activity you will need:

  • Plastic bowl
  • Clothes-pin
  • Ice-cube tray
  • Pom-poms
  • Plastic tongs
  1. Place the pom-poms in the bowl and put the tray in front of your child. Tell your child that you’d like to play a game with her.
  2. Show your child the bowl of pom-poms and the tongs. Show your child how the tongs open and close.
  3. Next, show your child how to move the pom-poms from the bowl to the ice-cube tray using the tongs.
  4. Ask your child if she’d like to try it. Say, "Can you move all of these pom-poms to the ice-cube tray?"
  5. Have her move all the pom-poms, filling up each ice-cube slot. If the tongs are too difficult for your child, have her begin doing it with just her fingers.
  6. Once she is able to do it with the tongs, show your child the clothespin and how to squeeze the clothespin to open it.
  7. Let her try moving the pom-poms with the clothespin. At first, the clothespin may be difficult for your child to squeeze. If so, allow her to play this game often and practice with the clothespin to strengthen her hands.
  8. When she is finished, say, "Great job. I knew you could do it. You have really strong hands!"

Next Steps/Follow-Up:
  • Change the game each time you play. For example, ask your child to sort (move) the pom-poms by color or to see how fast your child can move the pom-poms using the tongs/clothespin.
  • During breakfast or snack time, read the Cheerios Counting Book. Have your child place the Cheerios on the missing places in the book.
  • Play the game Hi-Ho Cheerio with your child. Make sure that your child moves his own cherries.
  • Play pick-up sticks with your child.
  • Make an art project. Have your child use toothpicks and mini-marshmallows to create an animal, a flower, or another object.

Background Information:

Physical development involves:

  • Having good muscle control and coordination (able to run, jump, climb, balance, skip, and play ball).
  • Developing hand-eye coordination (in order to draw, trace, write, cut with children’s scissors, stack, button, zip, and tie).
  • Having good personal hygiene, such as washing hands, brushing teeth, and using tissues.
  • Being aware of good safety.

When your child starts school, he will be more likely to do well if he is able to do these things.


You can help your child’s physical development by doing this activity.

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Ready At Five improves the practice and quality of early childhood education in Maryland.


We believe that every child in Maryland should have the foundational skills needed for success in school, career and life.

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