Tweezing Corn Fine Motor Practice in Preschool

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Do your students need to practice their fine motor skills? Your preschoolers will have a blast tweezing corn in this hands-on sensory bin that’s super quick and easy to set up.

You can easily incorporate this bin into a farm, fall, harvest, or even a Thanksgiving theme.

Child plucking corn kernels out of corn cob

Tweezing Corn Fine Motor Activity

What could be more fun to a preschool or Pre-K child than using tweezers to remove the corn kernels from the cob?

Your little learners will be drawn to the corn cobs and tweezers because they’ve most likely not experienced corn in this way before.

The great thing about this corn sensory play activity for kids is that it’s super simple and easy to set-up.

Are Sensory Play and Tweezing Corn Educational?

There are many important skills your preschool and Pre-K students will be developing when they engage in this fun sensory experience:

  • Measuring: How many scoops or cups of corn are necessary to fill the bowl?
  • Counting: How many kernels were removed from the cob?
  • More and Less: Which cup or bowl holds more? Which one holds less?
  • 5 Senses: How does the corn look, feel, or sound when it’s poured?
  • Fine Motor Skills: Using tweezers to remove corn kernels from the cobs, scooping and pouring corn kernels with measuring cups.

This doesn’t mean your kids are limited to doing only these things in the sensory bin. Open-ended exploration is the key to a successful sensory play experience. Young children learn best when they can touch and explore the items in a sensory bin with their hands. There are no set expectations for using the materials inside a sensory bin. Just invite your little learners to use their senses to explore the materials inside the sensory bin.

A corn cob on a bed of loose kernels with tweezers

Corn Sensory Bin for Kids

Here are some ideas for your corn sensory bin, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

If you’re lucky enough to take a field trip to a local farm or a pumpkin patch, you may encounter a big corn bin that your kids can explore with their hands.

If you’re worried about your kids making a mess and spilling corn on the floor, you might want to consider taking your sensory bin outdoors – the deer and squirrels will thank you!

Where to Find Corn for Sensory Play

In case you’re wondering where to buy corn in bulk to fill your sensory table, I’ve got your back! Here are a few suggestions to help you get started on your corn tweezing sensory bin journey.

If you live in a rural area, you may already know the best place to find corn for your sensory bin is at the feed store. If you don’t live near a feed store, you can always find what you need online. Below are some possibilities on Amazon:

  • 10 lb. bag of dried feed corn (for backyard feeding of birds or deer)
  • Dried corn cobs (also used for backyard feeding of squirrels and deer)
  • You can also check your local nurseries or even grocery stores for flint corn cobs (Indian corn) to make your bin more colorful and pique the interest of your students.

Just FYI, feed corn is not edible. Although it may look like the corn we eat, feed corn is not fit for human consumption. Close supervision is always implied when it comes to small sensory play materials or those that may be mistaken for food.

I’ve also used large bags of popcorn kernels from bulk discount stores in my sensory bins before.

Child holding corn cob in sensory bin

Corn Cob Tweezing Fine Motor Practice

Place some corn kernels and a few of the tools in a tray in preparation for introducing it to your children.

Then, read the book From Kernel to Corn, by Robin Nelson aloud during your whole group time.

Next, introduce the tray of items to your students after you’ve finished reading the book. Pass the tray around the group so each child can have a turn to touch and feel the corn, hold the tools, and ask questions.

Ask your students questions about the items on the tray such as, “How does it feel?” or “What do you think you can use it for?”

Fine Motor Practice Tweezing Corn Activity

Tweezing Corn to Develop Fine Motor Skills

After you’ve read the book aloud and introduced the materials during your whole group time, not it’s time to show your little learners how they might use the items in the sensory table.

Demonstrate how they can use the tweezers to remove the kernels from the corn cobs, or scoop corn into the bowls using the measuring cups.

Don’t get discouraged if your kids just want to play with the corn. they’ll still be getting plenty of important fine motor practice just by using the items in the bin. The most important thing about any open-ended sensory experience is that your kids are learning through play while having fun!

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