Pom Pom Drop and Shoot: Toddler Play

Make a fabulously fun DIY toddler toy for developing fine motor skills, co-ordination, concentration, counting and plenty of playful activity together! This is one of those super-simple ideas that can be pulled out at a moment’s notice with minimal preparation time, which is a win-win when playing with the little ones!Pom pom drop fine motor skills activity for toddlers

Here is the next instalment in our ongoing series of simple, easy and fun ideas of ways to play with toddlers!

Little Bean just turned 2 so we are officially into toddlerhood now and ready for all of the  extravagance that it will throw our way! She is an active and inquisitive child who loves to open lids, put things inside each other and find out how things work, so play and discovery is lots of fun with her!

A series of toddler play activities from The Imagination Tree

This simple pom pom drop and shoot game was perfect as an afternoon activity for her and took just a few minutes to create.Pom pom drop game for toddlers


We used an empty, clear plastic container (this one held mini meringues from Sainsbury’s incase you’re looking for an identical one!) I cut a hole in the lid to fit the diameter of a kitchen towel cardboard tube, then simply popped that into it to stand up by itself. (I covered the tube with glue and wrapped some patterned paper n it first to make it colourful, but this is not necessary of course!)

Pom pom drop and shoot game for toddlers


Then I set it out with a large basket of colourful pom poms, including some glittery ones to give a range of textures to explore with little fingertips! Yes, before you ask, LOTS were joyfully thrown all over the room after being explored with little hands, and that was fine. We made a game of it and collected them up together at the end of play, no stress, just fun!Toddler play activity pom pom drop and shoot game

No instructions are needed with this fun contraption! She loved filling up the tub with the pom poms and was even more fascinated with the idea of how to get them out. I deliberately didn’t make an easy way for that to happen and stepped back from showing her too, so that she could spend some time problem-solving, which she did!

After turning it upside-down and giving the tub a good shake  she was delighted to find that the pom poms would shoot straight out of the tube and across the room at high speed! This then became more of the object than filling the tub, with lots of pom poms being shot at each other!  Pom pom shooter toddler activity

Her big sisters found it irresistible too and we had to make a couple more of them so they could use one each at the same time!

Ways to extend the play:

* make coloured tubes and multiple pots, then encourage colour sorting and posting!

* use the pom poms to count out certain numbers and to match numerals

* make connections between multiple containers, including shoots and pipes attached together like a marble run

Toddler fine motor play with pom poms

Cakie: 5.5

Pop: 3.11

Bean: 2.0


What they are learning as they play:

physical: fine motor skill development, pincer grasp, pinch and release with fingertips, shaking objects with two hands, gross motor strengthening

personal, social and emotional: concentration, problem solving, joyful fun!

maths: early counting/ moving objects with 1:1 correspondence, sorting


See all our Toddler Play Activities here!

Check our Baby Play ideas here!



  1. Selena says

    Just a little thank you for putting the girls’ ages on the bottom of so many posts, I really do find it useful when I am trying to gauge how suitable an activity might be for my daughter!

  2. Michele says

    Ha! Thank you for showing pom poms everywhere! Many times I try these types of activities and it rarely looks like the posts (not yours specifically). I was getting pintrest envy. This post brought my shoulders down some!

    I look forward to trying this out at home.

  3. fonte says

    This series is so useful! We have tried all the activities so far and my 18 m/o has loved them. So nice to have fun, new ideas to try out as, despite my son’s unwavering enthusiasm for splashing in puddles, there’s only so much time you can spend outside in the rain!Thanks so much.

  4. Rachael says

    Apologies if you have already answered this elsewhere but did you buy or make the pom poms?

  5. Trupti says

    Hi Anna, I love your blog and ideas about creative play. I have tried a few and my son have always enjoyed those activities. Thanks a lot for such great ideas!

    For this Pompom Drop and Shoot activity, how did you cut the hole in the plastic container? This may sound like a stupid question but I really have no clue what type of knife/cutter you would need to cut the plastic. It would be helpful if you could let me know what it is called.