This activity is good for children who work on their pincer grasp or on finger separation/thumb opposition. You can ask the child to use his thumb and pointer, thumb and middle finger, thumb and ring finger, or thumb and pinkie, to pick up the straws. For this game, you can use colorful straws, pens, colored pencils, toothpicks or pipe-cleaners.
Hold all the straws or pipe-cleaners together in your palm or have the child hold them this way and let go of all of them at once.
Once they are spread, ask the child to pick up one straw at a time, without moving the other straws.
Take turns picking up the straws.
If you or the child moves other straws when picking up a straw, the game is over. The winner is the one who has the most straws.
Another version of the game could be to ask the child to pick up a certain color of straws:
Start by holding all the straws together and let all of them go at once. Once they are spread, ask the child to first pick up all the blue straws, then all the green straws, and so on (for this version of the game, it’s OK if the other straws are moving).
For young children or those with poor grasp, use wider straws.