Moving Marbles

Moving Marbles

Location: indoor

Materials: muffin tins or small bowls, marbles or other small rocks

Moving small parts around (like marbles, rocks, pompoms, corks) might not seem like it has inherent value, but look closer and it does. Hand division is one of 11 pre-writing skills that is easily missed when planning learning activities in the classroom.

Hand division is the ability to separate and use your fingers in different ways to complete a task. Think about holding a few marbles in your hand while placing them in a container. You hold your pinky and ring close to your palm to keep the extra marbles in place while using your thumb, forefinger, and middle finger to put the marbles in place.

This is more of a play provocation than a formal activity. You don't need to coach your kids on exactly what to do--there aren't any specific rules. By providing the materials (small parts and a range of containers to put them in), kids will be given the opportunity to practice their hand division. If you want a chance to assess a child's ability to do this you can challenge them to pick up a handful of marbles and place them one-by-one into a specific container.

What We're Learning:

  • hand and finger strength required for writing and self-care
  • fine motor development
  • language and vocabulary development
  • sorting and classification