Saturday, 9 November 2013

Toddler fine motor skills activity - having fun with pom-poms.

One of the free activities that I put out for Toddler girl during her weekly activity planner was to play with pom-poms.

I love pom-poms, they are a wonderful fun learning toy for toddlers and older children. 

I put out different sized containers, and a had sellotaped different sized tubes onto the wall. Toddler girl had so much fun dropping the pom-poms into the different tubes and watching them fall on the floor, that she didn't even realise she was 'learning.'

But what was she learning during this simple toddler activity?

She was developing her fine motor skills by picking up the pom-poms and dropping them into different containers. Developing these fine motor skills is hugely important, as children need these skills to manipulate and gain control over a range of materials and objects. For example, using a knife and fork, or writing with a pencil.

There are three components of fine motor skills, and toddler girl was working on all of them during this 'free play' activity. She was:
  • grasping - picking up the pom-poms in her hands.
  • manipulating - squeezing and moving the pom-poms in her hands.
  • developing hand - eye co-ordination - putting the pom-poms into the hole at the top of the cardboard tubes.
Toddler girl was also beginning to have some understanding of sizes, and basic mathematical language: 

'Toddler girl attempted to put the large pom-pom into the smallest cardboard tube. she tried a couple of times, but it wouldn't fit. She looked at me, "big" she said. I nodded, "yes its too big, try a smaller pom-pom" I handed her a smaller pom-pom and she put it in the cardboard tube. She began clapping her hands when it dropped through the tube.'

One of my sneaky aims for this 'free play' activity was for toddler girl to begin to notice the colours of the pom-poms, and to understand that colours can be matched together.

After she had been playing alone for awhile, and was starting to become bored I began to join in with her play. I encouraged her to pass me a pom-pom, I would tell her what colour it was and put it down. As she passed me more pom-poms I started to sort them into piles of different colours, encouraging her to have an understanding that we can sort objects by categories.

After I had matched a few of the colours together, Toddler girl began to join in, and managed to put two red pom-poms together. Whether this was on purpose or a coincidence I will never know, as she had become fed up at this point, and had wondered off to find a book. :)


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