It seems to be getting harder and harder to find the time to blog lately but I couldn't resist sharing this easy fine motor activity with you as my family day care toddlers absolutely loved it. To be honest the preschoolers had just as much fun too!
I love thinking up simple games and activities to support the strengthening of those little fine motor muscles and coordination and this one couldn't be easier!
When trying to engage toddlers in an activity it is always a good idea to do the following 3 things…
1. Make it simple so they can experience a sense of achievement and want to keep going
2. Use materials/resources they have shown an interest in – think of ways to incorporate and extend those interests (In this case wet sand and spiders).
3. Join in with them at first and make it a game…get them excited about what they can do.
Don't be tempted to make it too difficult at first as toddlers are easily frustrated and distracted and will just wander off.
I then added a few little buckets and some teaspoons. Would also work well with tongs but we have been doing lots of squeeze and release activities lately, this time I wanted to challenge their coordination, control and wrist movement by using a scoop, balance and twist to tip out motion.
They played with the spiders in lots of different ways and I let them continue to explore and communicate among themselves.
It's good to take advantage of opportunities like this for intentional teaching but also important to let them learn in their own way as they play and process too.
What would your child love to find hidden?
Find more ideas like this for early learning and network with other early childhood educators from around the world in The Empowered Ed Community
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.
Sheryl Cooper says
Love this idea, Jode! I’m going to try it with our toddlers.
nancy john says
sometimes we forget how hard this can all be for a small child. Thanks for this insightful post. We have not had to move countries, but my kids do attend an immersion school.
Premature Children disabilities
Fionna Hird says
As always. Just the idea I needed.
The Empowered Educator says
Have fun with it Fionna!