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!
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!
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!)
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!
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!
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
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!