Practical life: Transferring with a tong/ tweezers

Introducing how to transfer objects using a tong or tweezers as young as the age of 18 months onwards is a great way for the child to build hand strength, develop fine motor skills in the fingers and hands, develop gross motor skills in their arms and shoulders, build coordination as well as provide an opportunity for the child to develop independence. Using tongs or tweezers with transferring work allows the child through repetition to develop focus and concentration.


In the Montessori setting, when teaching the child how to the transferring with a tong/ tweezers activity in the classroom, the teacher will firstly introduce the material and activity to the child and bring them to the activities of everyday life shelf where the transfer objects with tongs/ tweezers material are kept and ask them to carry the tray to the work area. The teacher will then show the child how to unfold the mat and place the materials on the mat. From there the teacher will show how to hold the tongs with pencil grip by holding the tongs with three dominant fingers and start transferring the objects like marbles to the empty bowl. The teacher will continue the transferring of the objects to the other bowl and when finished, transfer the objects back to the first bowl and start to tidy up the work area. The teacher will then invite the child to do the activity.


Objectives when teaching the child how to do the transferring with a tong/ tweezers: 1) To teach the child how to use tongs 2) To refine the child’s transferring skills 3) To develop the child’s concentration 4) To develop the child’s eye-hand coordination 5) Development of three-finger grip and small muscle 6) Development of the concept of sorting by type 7) Identification of shapes differences 8) Preparation for math and science


Tips on what you will need for the transferring with tongs/ tweezers activity to do at home with your child: 1) Two identical bowls 2) Tongs/ Tweezers 3) Small moveable objects (such as marbles, large or small beads, pompom balls, cut up fruits/ vegetables etc.) 4) Mat 5) Tray


The exercises of Practical Life are formative activities, a work of adaptation to the environment. Such adaptation to the environment and efficient functioning therein is the very essence of a useful education.” - Maria Montessori -



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