Chopsticks are a great utensil to use during mealtime and for a variety of creative games and activities. Chopsticks can help children to work on hand-dominance, pre-handwriting/handwriting skills, and improving their grasp in a fun and exciting manner.
Games with chopsticks
Place a bucket at one end of the room and the objects to be picked-up on the other side of the room (e.g. marbles, beads, cotton balls, dry cereal). Have two or more children race to see who can pick-up and fill their bucket the fastest, or use a watch to record how long it takes the child to pick-up all of the objects and place into her bucket one piece at a time.
Use chopsticks rather than your hands to play a board game (e.g. Thin Ice, Hi Ho Cherry-O, Candy Land).
Use chopsticks when making a craft or project. The chopsticks can help to pick-up decorations like sprinkles, puff balls, decorative eye balls, pipe cleaners, and string or ribbon.
Three Ways To Add Challenge For Greater Benefits
- Add resistance: Have a parent place a rubber band around the chopsticks to increase the amount of hand strength required.
- Use non-dominant hand: Try switching hands for the entire task or half-way through an activity to increase the amount of concentration required.
- Reaching across midline: Place the objects on the child’s non-dominant side and have them reach across the midline of their body to pick up the pieces.
Benefits Of Using Chopsticks
- Promotes hand-eye coordination
- Is a great pre-handwriting task
- Teaches finger isolation and manipulation
- Encourages grasping
- Strengthens hands and increases endurance
- Improves fine and visual motor skills