Practical life: the use of pliers!

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A plier and snails

A plier and snails

Today, I am going to present you with some exercises using “pliers” which are part of the exercises of practical life which have already been introduced in these previous articles:

I remind you that these exercises can be done at home with children from the age of 18 months.
Like all exercises involving practical life, they help develop:

  • concentration,
  • autonomy,
  • independance
  • coordination.

The indirect goals of such exercises are:

  • self-confidence (be able to do things on my own),
  • writing (develop the abilities and the coordination between eye/hand)
Transférer de la gauche vers la droite.

Transfer from left to right.

Don’t forget that these exercises must be presented on a tray that the child can carry by himself. You will also present them from left to right and from top to bottom. The child will need to find the tray in the exact same spot and be able to put it back where he got it from when he has successfully completed the exercise.

You should always try out the exercises to make sure that your child will be able to realize them on his own. Never involve your child with difficult exercises that may put him in check. For the exercises involving pliers, it is important to try them first as they might be hard to handle.
It is also important that the exercises involve a “mistake control device” which will enable your child to correct himself on his own without the help of an adult.

Red and blue clothes pegs.

Red and blue clothes pegs

Exercises with clothes pegs:


A small basket

Eight clothes pegs (make sure the child can use them easily)

Presentation (to be done very slowly):

1. Put the basket on the table

2. Place the basket in the center of the table

3. Hold the tip of the peg between your thumb and your right hand index finger and make a pressure until the two extremities touch your fingers.

4. Hold the peg perpendicularly on the side of the basket, slowly bring it down on the side of the basket and release the pressure.

Les pinces à linge5. Repeat the same move with the rest of the pegs.

6. Put the pegs back in the basket using the same method.

7. Put the material back on the shelf.

With clothes pegs, you can imagine interesting variants:

1. Put in pairs clothes pegs according to their colors all around the basket.

2. Make series of different colored pegs, for example: 1 blue, 1 yellow, 1 pink and ask your child to repeat the same series. Another example can involve a series of 2 blue pegs, 2 yellow, 2 pink and ask your child to repeat the series. This is an excellent exercise which prepares your child for math exercises involving the reproduction of series.

3. In order to develop his creativity, prepare a basket with different colored pegs and let him play with his imagination.

Other types of pliers.

Other types of pliers.

There are numerous possibilities of exercises for children to be done with pliers:

– pliers for snails with empty snail shells,

– pickle pliers,

– pliers used for spaghetti

Excellent for the preparation of writing

Excellent for the preparation of writing.

– tweezers : can be used with children (even in primary school) who have problems with motivity skills. The exercises done with them involve a great dexterity lots of concentration and are excellent to sharpen the movement of the hand.

A variant to tweezers.

A variant to tweezers.

This article gave you ideas of trays with pliers but don’t hesitate to create some of your own and to vary them often when they are useful around the age of 8-9 years old.

Sylvie d’Esclaibes

This entry was posted in Athena Montessori International School, Dyslexia, dyspraxia, different children, Gifted children - School phobia - Inadapted to the traditional system -, Kindergarten, Lycée International Montessori, Pedagogical study, Teach your child and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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