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 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.'