Zoo Sticks, Rookie Sticks, Tweezers and Tongs!
Whether you have zoo sticks, rookie sticks, tweezers or tongs you can do all of these activities. First, what’s the difference between these tools??
Zoo Sticks have an animal on top with long legs to make the tongs. Rookie sticks are long and thin with an “M” shaped top. Each of these are actually children’s chopsticks. Tweezers are available in various types and are going to be smaller with a pointier tip. Some are resistive, some squeeze to open, others squeeze to close. Tongs tend to be larger and thicker with a flat surface, so easier than tweezers or zoo/rookie sticks.
You can use these tools to pick up almost any small object: spiny balls, critter balls, cotton balls, pieces of scrunched paper, pop beads, M&M’s, beads, etc. The child can hold a small container (film canister, or paper towel tube with one end closed up) in the other hand to put the small objects into. Now you’re also working on bilateral hand use and crossing midline!
Pick up and place pegs in a pegboard, while copying a pattern or making a design.
Use to move pieces during traditional board games.
When playing with putty; roll out the putty into a snake and use tool to pinch into an inch worm, or pick up small pieces of putty.
Have a rice/bean bucket or sand table? Use tongs to pick out hidden buttons/cotton balls/small plastic toys/beads or anything you’d like!
Make your own tongs!! With two Popsicle sticks, a rubber band, and a small piece of paper rolled into a ball! Place the ball on one end of the Popsicle stick and the rubber band around this side. You have a pair of tongs that you can change the position and resistance of.