Montessori tong transfer

This practical life video is designed for 3 to 6 years old children to teach them how to use tongs. 

What is Tong Transfer? Why is it Important for a Child?

Tong transfer is a Montessori practical life activity where a child learns how to hold a tong and pick an object and transfer it into another bowl. 

The objectives to teach tong transfer to a child are:

  1. To teach them how to use tongs. 
  2. To refine their transferring skills. 
  3. To develop a three-finger grip and small muscle 
  4.  To introduce the concept of sorting.
  5. To help them identify size, color, and shape differences.
  6. To prepare them for other skills such as math, writing, language, etc.

Tong transfer is an excellent activity that helps a child to develop fine motor skills, prepares hands for writing, builds hand strength, and builds focus, coordination, and concentration. 

Materials Required for a Tong Transfer Activity

  •  Two identical bowls 
  • A pair of tongs
  • Small moveable objects (such as marbles, large or small beads, pompom balls, fruits/ vegetables, etc) 
  • Working mat or a tray

Perquisite Activities

A child must be introduced to the following activities before introducing tongs transfer:

How to Introduce Tong Transfer Activity to the Child?

  1. Invite the child to bring the tong activity to the table
  2. Ask the child to hold the tong with their dominant hand. This may require practice. Let the child first practice holding the pair of tongs.
  3. Once a child learns to hold it, ask the child to pick carrots from the bowl without dropping them. Allow the child to learn to pick the carrots.
  4. When the child successfully picks the carrot piece, ask them to transfer it into the empty bowl.
  5. Transferring objects from one bowl to another is called tonging. Invite the child to repeat the activity.

Watch the video to learn how to hold the tongs correctly and transfer the object. Let the child repeat this activity with the items available at home like cereal, chopped-up vegetables, cut fruit, sugar cubes, cotton balls, cooked peas, corks, etc. Encourage the child to pick up the objects with tongs and transfer the items into another bowl.

Related Practical Life Videos:

  1. How to scrub a floor?
  2. Nuts and bolts
  3. How to wash an object?
  4. How to juice an orange?

To watch more Montessori practical life activities video lessons, click here

Video created by: Strykun Olena


  • How to hold a tong correctly?

           Hold one side of the tong using the index and middle finger and the other side using the thumb (known as a pencil grip).

  • How does learning to tong objects help the child?

           Montessori tong transfer indirectly prepares the child’s hand for reading and writing. Holding tongs helps a child to strengthen hand muscle and hand-eye coordination.



  • English
  • Practical Life
  • primary
  • sensorial