Fine Motor Work for Toddlers and Preschoolers
This activity is so easy to put together and fun for different ages. My Toddler and nephew (both 16 months old) were immediately loving this one. They saw the pile of crafting pom poms and the bottles on the table and were instantly popping the fuzz balls into the empty water bottles.
NOTE: If you try this activity with little ones who love to explore with their mouths, please keep a very close eye on them. Or put this one on hold for a few months.
Pushing the pom poms into the bottles is great for working on a tripod grasp, and the littler kids tended to push the ball into the bottle by using their index finger (Index Isolation).
When kids develop isolation of individual fingers, it improves their dexterity, separates the sides of the hand, and allows them to manipulate small objects with accuracy.
As they progress in fine motor development, you will see the ring finger, and pinkie finger fold down into a fist as they use just their thumb, pointer finger, and ring finger to manipulate little objects. The ring and pinkie fingers are then able to stabilize the hand during activities such as handwriting, cutting with scissors, and shoe tying.
Color Sorting for Preschoolers
Little Guy (who is 3) sorted the different colored pom poms into bottles.
We had fun with this for a long time. They were occupied before and after nap time with this one!
To get the pom poms out of the bottles, I was able to pull them out quickly. The little kids were not able to get them out, but it was not too difficult for Big Sister.
Bilateral Coordination for Toddlers
The toddlers had a little trouble at first, managing the bottle with their helper hand while concentrating on putting the pom poms into the bottle top. This is a really great activity to work on bilateral coordination for little ones. After a while, they both got better at it. That was pretty neat to see. It really helps, too, that the bottle made a loud crinkly sound when they squeezed too hard. What a great auditory cue for them to lessen their grip on the bottle.
Don't have the pom poms at the house??? Use cotton balls.
Have fun with this!