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Playing with pegs is a fantastic way for young children to develop their pincer grip which is necessary for feeding themselves, doing up buttons, tying shoe laces, writing and so on.  Any finger exercises that encourage children to use their thumb and index finger/forefinger are a winner.  This can easily be done through play and pegs are super easy method and we have them around the home anyway.

I would just like to thank E’s Mum for writing the following post.  E is 15 months old and did brilliantly with this activity.  Playing in her own way using open-ended resources.

E was showing a keen interest in the pegs I was using to hang out the washing yesterday, so today I thought I’d give her the opportunity to play with them.
I simply pegged some multi-coloured pegs to some container lids, left a few sitting inside the lids and placed them next to a bag, as I know how much she loves packing and unpacking bags and carrying them around at the moment.

Peg Play

E immediately started to try pulling the pegs from around the rim of the lid and as she hadn’t figured out that she needed to squeeze them, the lid flew in the air as she pulled at it with force.

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She managed to remove some, not using the squeeze method yet, but by persevering and pulling them as hard as she could. (Even though E did not use the squeeze method here, she is still practising her pincer grip as you can see in the photo below.)

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E then lay back on the floor with the pegs in her hands. I wondered what she was doing! She was looking at the pegs as if contemplating what to do with them.

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She suddenly got up and went straight to the bag I had provided and popped the pegs inside. She made her way around the room, talking as she went, and began peering inside and taking the pegs in and out.

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She made her way back to the pegs and lids and began looking more closely at them, she was attempting to replace the pegs she had removed back onto the rim, trying all sorts of ways, even trying to balance one on top of the other.

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E started trying to open and close the peg – she knew there was a way, but during this play session she never got there…bless her! I did show E how to squeeze the pegs but she shook her head and said, what sounded like, ‘I don’t like that!’ 

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E found a new way to play with the pegs after a while. She began lining them up, bizarrely matching the colours!  I may be underestimating her, but I’m sure the fact they were in colour order was a fluke.
She played with the pegs for about and hour uninterrupted. And then played some more later on.

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Thank you again for a lovely post L. I think you are underestimating E as she is able to see the similarities and differences between objects and matching the colours together in this way is not a fluke! What a clever girl!  Even though E did not grasp the ‘squeeze’ element to the pegs this time, it is important to keep modelling for E how to do this as she will eventually rehearse this herself.  The open-ended nature of this activity meant E not only rehearsed her pincer grip but also developed her sorting and matching skills and developed her language too! E is constantly babbling to herself and this is a fundamental part speech development.

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