Make a toddler motor skills activity using pattern cards to sort and drop! Early maths and fine motor skills in an easy, DIY game using recycled materials.
I covered three, empty plastic food containers with white paper (these had mini meringues in them and are great for DIY games with!) Into the lid of each I cut a wide slit ready to drop some cards into.
Then, using some thin cardboard covered again with white paper, I drew three sets of circles, each having its own pattern on it, either wavy lines, straight lines or zig-zags/ chevrons. I made another piece of paper with corresponding pattern on for the lid of each container (you could also just draw this directly onto the side of the containers, but I’d like to re-use mine again for another toy soon!)
Then I set it out as an Invitation to Play, with the pots ready and the cards mixed up on the floor next to them.
My toddlers have ALL absolutely loved posting and dropping things into containers, so I knew Miss 2 would enjoy this and she did! I showed her the patterns and traced over them with my fingertip, using simple descriptive words such as “wavy”, “up and down” and “pointy” etc. She copied and began to notice that the patterns on the cards were different from each other.
She was able to match the patterns to the corresponding tubs and loved filling the tubs then emptying them out and starting all over again.
I deliberately kept the patterns all black and white so that the only differentiation was the pattern rather than by colours. You could equally make this using different coloured cards or with numbers, letters of the alphabet, shapes, animals or more!
See all our other TODDLER PLAY activities here!
See our FINE MOTOR SKILLS activities here!
What they are learning while they play:
Maths: sorting by pattern, grouping
Physical: fine motor pincer grasp, rotating objects to make them fit, hand:eye co-ordination
Great way to learn about sorting different patterns and work the fine motor skills at the same time!
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