Fine motor activities for my toddler twosome are always high on my priority list…mainly because it is an area that I need to work on with Ruby. She is still lagging behind developmentally in her fine motor skills.
I have always found with toddlers that they are more likely to persevere with an activity if they have been involved in the preparation process. With this activity I decided to involve the girls from beginning to end.
One of the areas that Ruby experiences difficulty in is threading…I have had to get creative to encourage her to use both hands and successfully thread objects. You can see some of the links to the activities I have used so far below.
As she currently has difficulty Crossing the Midline crossing her midline, threading is a particularly challenging task. She finds it hard to push something through a hole and pull to the other side.She gets frustrated easily with threading activities so I try to make it as fun and interactive as possible.
By starting with easier threading activities she can build her confidence and ability to keep trying. By encouraging her to help prepare the activity I build her interest and willingness to participate in an activity that she already views as difficult.
As regular readers will know, I like to use items from around the house or that are purchased cheaply for our activities. What can be more frugal than the humble egg carton?
The toddler twosome helped me to tear up the egg cartons into segments (yes some were a bit worse for wear but that is part of the fun and sense of achievement!)
I then set out bowls of red and blue water paint (just some edicol dye mixed with water) and placed the bowl of egg carton segments and a few trays out for the girls to explore….
Tara was really fussy about the order she did things in and very carefully placed each carton down on the tray to dry. We discussed whether the cups were entirely coloured or if there were still white spaces that needed to be dipped again.
Both girls really seemed to enjoy the process of dyeing and excitedly named each colour as it changed before their eyes!
When they were dry I set the cartons out on a tray and added a few pipe cleaners and wooden sticks for threading. We poked holes in the egg carton cups by using the wooden sticks….a pen or skewer works well too.
The holes were quite big and therefore easier to thread. I modelled pushing through pipecleaners and sticks. The sticks were the easier option so I started Ruby with these first…
Tara had a lot of fun with this and enjoyed threading with the pipecleaners the best. She took a little while to get the rhythm of pushing through and then pulling up but was so excited when she mastered the skill!
Unfortunately Ruby didn't stay with the activity for long….she did manage to push the wooden sticks through but still had difficulty pulling them through to the other side. She threaded 3 egg carton cups before getting frustrated and decided to make towers out of them instead!
She also decided she preferred to go on a little adventure on her bike rather than thread…ah well…at least I tried!
I'll keep trying…by offering these sort of simpler threading activities it is my hope that her frustration level will get less and less and she will master the skill of threading.
She stayed with the activity for longer than I thought and she kept mentioning that she had painted the egg cartons so I feel this went a long way to increasing her time span with the activity.
Does your toddler like threading or do they find it too frustrating?
Here is a collection of my favourite fine motor activities for toddlers….perhaps you might find something simple your little one will enjoy!
Not every activity is a success in terms of end product as we adults envision it….but in terms of process and developmental progression…I think this one was a success. We did move forward and it was lots of fun which is most important!
All we can do as parents and educators is offer the tools, the encouragement and the love. The rest will be provided by our toddlers….in their own time!