Sometimes as grown-ups it is easy to forget how hard our children have to work to master everyday things that we take for granted. One of the big milestones for young children that is easy to overlook is the importance of developing their fine motor skills. My oldest daughter mastered them without giving it a second thought, but when I noticed that my youngest was avoiding writing because it was more difficult for her, I realized that it was time to put together some fun hand-strengthening activities.
The good news is that it does not take much to put together an engaging and useful experience for your child. I started with a pair of small tongs, some small seashells and two bowls. Simply transferring the shells from one bowl into the other is great for developing the pincer grasp, which leads to the proper pencil grip. My daughter loved the experience and spent quite a while carefully transferring each tiny shell from one bowl to the other and back again.