9 - 10 Months

Easy pincer grasp activities for babies

Baby playing with a Lovevery puzzle

The pincer grasp—a coordinated pinch of the thumb and index finger that allows your baby to pick up and hold a small object—is actually an indication of both cognitive and fine motor development. Your baby is learning how to use their brain and body together to intentionally get what they want.

Watch closely and you may see them experimenting with it during mealtime to pick up food or during play time to pick up a small toy.

When babies learn the pincer grasp

Babies typically develop the pincer grasp between 10 and 12 months, although it can happen earlier or later. Before then, the primary ways your baby picked something up were the palmar grasp (a newborn reflex) and the raking grasp (about 6 months).

This fine motor ability will help with many future tasks, from getting dressed to holding a crayon.

Pincer grasp activities for babies

The pincer grasp is a skill your child will need to practice well into their toddler (and even preschool) years. Here are two easy play ideas for babies.

Pom-pom whisk challenge

This activity gives your baby a chance to develop the dexterity they’ll need later to button, zip, draw, and write ❤️

  • Push pom-poms between the wires of a whisk. 
  • Encourage your child to use their pincer grasp to pull them out. 
  • Let them hold the whisk in one hand as they remove the pom-poms with the other to work on bilateral coordination. 
  • Consider placing a container nearby so your baby can put the pom-poms in it.

Please supervise your baby at all times during this activity and ensure they do not mouth the pom-poms. Small items like these could become choking hazards. Put the pom-poms safely away when play is done.

Key ring slide

Real-life keys may be dirty, sharp, or even contain trace amounts of lead, so try this activity with a baby-safe key ring like the Stainless Steel Jingle Keys.

  • Hold the key ring steady as you demonstrate how to use the pincer grasp to slide a key to the top of the ring.
  • Once the key is at the top, release your grip and let it drop back down to the bottom.
  • Do it again as you describe the process and make fun sound effects as the key falls down the ring.
  • Encourage your baby to try it by holding out a key for them to grasp.

This may be a bit challenging for them at first, but they’ll succeed with repetition 🙂


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Posted in: 9 - 10 Months, 11 - 12 Months, Fine Motor, Cognitive Development, Independence, Hand-eye Coordination, Lovevery App, Child Development

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