Has your kid ever wondered why we have thumbs but most animals they see don’t? Or asked what the thumb is for? Travis sure has! This quick STEM lesson illustrates how useful the thumb can be, and how important it is for us as humans.
To start, I taped Travis’s thumb down against his palm. Our tape wasn’t that strong, so he also had to promise not to cheat, ha.
Now I challenged him to write his name using only the free fingers. Wobbly letters followed, which made him giggle.
Then we placed several small objects down on the table. Smaller and flatter will be more of a challenge for this activity (think keys or coins). It took some pondering on his part, but then he figured out he could pinch items up using the middle and pointer fingers. He was quite proud!
If your child knows how to tie his or her shoes, that would be another fun challenge with the thumb taped down. To finish the lesson, we brainstormed other animals that have opposable thumbs.
Travis’s mind was blown realizing that yes, humans are animals (sometimes we forget what our kids don’t know yet!), and that our closest relatives are apes and gorillas with thumbs, too.