Fred Donaldson, a renowned play specialist, once said, “children learn as they play. More importantly, in play, children learn how to learn.” It was one day in 2021, in a small rural town in Picton, where Kiera King, the founder of Little Pegz, watched helplessly as her daughter desperately tried to hold a pencil between her thumb and index finger. King could see the frustration building up in her daughter; the corners of her child’s lips drew downwards, and her eyebrows followed the same direction south. It was evident that her daughter’s inability to hold the pencil correctly was causing her immense discomfort. She thought to herself, no mother can sit back and just be a spectator to their child’s adversity. It was then, that the solutions-driven, mum of three, decided that she would add yet another layer to her already bustling schedule. With Donaldson’s famous words ringing in her ears, she got to work creating a resource that would later go on to be recognised on Sunrise Australia, Health Academy and Flying Solo all over the nation. A fun and interactive tool that would be loved by teachers, students and occupational therapists with its ability to develop this vital, fundamental motor skill- the pincer grip.
The ability to hold items between the thumb and any finger, or pincer grasp as it is occasionally referred to, allows one to use the pincer grip. It makes it possible for an infant to carefully pick up and put down little objects using their thumb and their index finger. For future skills like handwriting, the pincer grasp is crucial. If a child holds a pencil incorrectly, they won't have adequate control over it, which will affect the quality of their handwriting in later years. Little Pegz was designed to develop the pincer grip in a way that would be fun and would stimulate the kids mentally so that they would be happy to repeat the same game or exercise, all whilst strengthening those fine motor skill muscles.
King’s love of woodwork drove the passion to incorporate reclaimed rubber trees as the base product for Little Pegz. When designing Little Pegz, King knew that it would be made using only the finest quality wood. Having grown up as the daughter of a reputable builder, she knew firsthand the magic that could be created from this organic product. Little Pegz would become the first Australian business to specialise in wooden peg boards.
Being a company that could pride itself on giving back to the Earth, rather than just taking from it, has always been of up-most importance to this small, family-run business. Caring and loving for the environment have always come before making a profit- if King wasn’t able to ensure that her business model was 100% sustainable, then there was to be no business for her. Guy McPherson, a renowned scientist, said it best when he said, “if you really think that the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money.” Now before you get your wallet out and try counting your cash with a big gulp of air sitting in your mouth resembling a puffer fish, understand that Little Pegz was created solely based on King’s vision; to do good for the Earth, whilst doing good for the children- our future leaders of the world. King smiles when she proudly explains that this business is dedicated to parents who want to safeguard the planet, to help children appreciate nature and the value of looking after it.