Afternoons with the toddler twosome have been a little…shall we say…'challenging' lately! So I have been trying to incorporate a few quiet fine motor activities to keep them busy and therefore less prone to displaying the ‘challenging' behaviour that is such a feature of the 2.5 year old!
I thought I would share 3 of our favourites from the past few weeks. They are easy to set up and pack away and only require items that can usually be found around the house!
We used another object from around the house to have some quiet fun…the humble tong…a toddler's best fine motor friend!
I actually picked up a few smaller ones from our local supermarket recently but i know you can buy fancy smaller ones that are easier for toddlers to start with. Personally i like the challenge that these little ones offer, i just had to put in a little more time to show the girls how to use them.
They do exercise the hand muscles a little more and this is what i wanted…especially for Ruby as i really need to work on her fine motor skills.
All we used were some old egg cartons, a bag of pom poms which i use for many things (very cheap at any budget shop), the tongs and also our wooden cubes which we last used with our Sensory Eggshell Playdough activity.
Ruby did get frustrated at first but i perservered by holding her hands and as i pushed the tongs together in the bowl of pom poms and saying ‘squeeze' then ‘let go'. We started saying it as a sort of mantra and each time i helped her to perform the action. It really only took about 5 mins before she got the hang of it and goodness she was so excited with her new skill!
The droppers provided a fine motor challenge as they had to learn how to squeeze the top to suck up some paint and then squeeze to let the paint go. Again it was a matter of holding their hands and showing them the muscle action to use….after a few minutes they understood what they needed to do and i could see the pride in their faces.
By dripping the paint onto the paper towel it soaks in and makes some lovely patterns without making a whole lot of mess…what small amount of paint run off there is is caught by the tray. We did go through quite a bit of paper towel as the girls really enjoyed this activity once they had mastered the skill of the droppers…but it was worth it not to have paint running everywhere!
A Little About Me
Jodie Clarke is an early childhood professional supporting educators who want and need to stay passionate about the work they do! She has 30 years hands-on experience in the early childhood and human services sectors across many different roles.
Jodie is mum to 3 in Australia and has already helped thousands of educators with their work through her popular blog posts, activity ideas, online training and e-books.