These dollar pom pom balls from Target were a hit with both my one year old and three year old. They are so simple to use, mess free, and oh so versatile. This is also an amazing fine motor skill activity for both kiddos.
What you will need:
Tweezers (if your child is ready for them)
It’s pretty easy to get this sensory bin up and going. Dump all the pom poms you have into the container, put some cups inside, and you have a sensory bin. The more pom poms you have the better. You can also getting different size pom poms to add even more fun to this activity. Let your little one explore the bin.
Depending on your child’s ability, have them sort by color or just dump the pom poms from one container to another. For my oldest, I gave him some tweezers to make it just a little more challenging. He not only had to sort the poms by color, but also use his fine motor skills to transfer the poms from the container to the cups.
Each of them had a blast playing with the pom poms and this will definitely be a sensory activity we come back to! It took my oldest 10 minutes to sort his pom poms. Ten minutes of concentration, hard work, and silence. I sat there is awe watching him maneuver the tweezers and pom poms. He had so much fun and worked so hard. He was so proud of himself and I was proud of him too!
My little guy loves to practice his scissor skills every chance he gets. So, I put together a box of different textures for him to cut until his little heart was content. In his fine motor box was a bunch of scrap pieces of paper I had found in our art closet and drew lines for him to try and follow.
What’s in the box?
Toilet paper rolls
We started out with Melissa and Doug scissors, but they were not getting the job done. So, we switched to a pair of little scissors. After the switch, he hit the road running. If you do decide to use “real” scissors monitor your little one, so they don’t accidently cut themselves or give themselves a new hair do.
He cut through each of the items in the box. Then decided he was going to make a race car, something that never crossed my mind. I love when one of my simple ideas becomes something so much more because of his imagination.
Construction of his race car was underway. He cut out the doors, wheels, and even wrapped the toilet paper roll in blue foam.
If your little one has yet to master cutting on the lines or how to hold scissors all of those things will come with time. Fun practice activities will definitely help build those skills. As you can see we are still working on those very skills. He was on the other hand concentrating hard on what he was doing and giving it his best.
Just look at the pride on his face over something he made. It’s safe to say he this activity is Gray approved and that little car has been with him all afternoon. I have a feeling it may become his version of Sporky. (You ToyStory fans will get what I’m saying.)
We would love to see how this activity turns out for your little ones. It’s amazing to see their little minds work and their imaginations take over.
We are in the midst of a heat wave, so this was a perfect cool down activity. Your little ones will need to be supervised, in case they get a little too excited with their mallets.
What you will need:
A plastic container
Mallet or Hammer
Fill up with container with some toys and water. Throw it in the freezer over night until it is completely frozen. Once it is frozen, let the fun begin!
We started off using a hammer to break big chunks of ice off. Gray was so excited to be able to use a hammer. He is a Mr. Fix it, so using a big hammer made his day! Once we got large chunks off we moved to using the mallet, so we didn’t break any of the plastic toys.
The surprise of each new toy being found was amazing! We found toy after toy and kept chipping off at the large block. The heat helped melt some pieces away as we went and the ice was a nice cooldown treat.
My favorite part of this activity was wanting Gray figure out different ways to get the toys out. He started with the big hammer then the mallet. When those options weren’t working fast enough he dropped the large block on the concrete. After the block became smaller chunks, he used his hands to break small parts off. It was so entertaining watching his wheels turn and him problem solve.
Once all the toys were rescued from the ice block, we smashed the left over pieces. This activity wasn’t just for Gray, even Charlie got into the fun!
If you don’t have a container you could totally do this with an ice tray as well.
There’s no where my kiddos would rather be than outside; running, screaming, and exploring. They would spend the entire day outside if they could, and sometimes we do! However, there are days when we just can’t do outside. It’s too hot, it’s raining, or maybe it’s too cold, which doesn’t happen often here in North Carolina.
Regardless of the reason, all of their bottled up energy needs somewhere to go, and I’d prefer it not be them jumping from couch to couch. Of course, on these rainy days their old toys no longer interest them and they are all over the place. Thankfully there are plenty of fun, easy, and quick to put together activities to keep your little ones busy right inside your home.
1. Sensory Bins:
Sensory bins are a great way to let your little ones explore different textures, colors, and concepts. Everything is contained in a big plastic tub, or so it’s supposed to be, which makes for easy clean up! Find a plastic tub you have laying around the house and fill it with whatever interests your child. We currently LOVE construction of any kind. So, off I went to the garage, got some soil and rocks and ta-da! A sensory bin was created!
Some other fun themes are: holidays, individual colors, and seasons.
2. DIY Dry Erase Board:
Have a glass door or window? I’m sure you do! Well guess what, you also have a dry erase board. Grab some dry erase markers and let your little one draw a picture. Make sure you remind them markers are ONLY for the door or window, otherwise you may end up with a lovely Picasso-esque mural adorning your walls. When drawing their own picture loses your littles interest, draw shapes on the door, then begin naming the shapes, while having them erase or circle the shape you named. You can do this with anything: letters, numbers, shapes, sight words, etc you name it!
3. Alphabet & Number Games:
We have been focusing on our numbers, letters, and shapes for a while. Over time we have narrowed down some of our favorite games. Do you have an old cookie sheet you no longer use, alphabet or number magnets, and a sharpie? If you do, you have a new game at your fingertips. Take a sharpie, write down the alphabet (or numbers) and have your kiddo match them up! How easy is that?! If you don’t have magnets, grab a piece of paper and some paint! Write the alphabet or numbers down and have your kiddo trace them with paint. Both activities are simple to put together and will keep your little ones busy.
4. Cook together!
Cooking together doesn’t have to be elaborate! Have them help you make breakfast, or lunch. Measuring, dumping, and stirring help build fine motor skills, it also builds memories together. Bonus, my toddler also seems to eat more of the food when he helps!
5. Painters Tape Race Track!
Cranes, trains, and automobiles are just a few of our favorite things. With that being said, we have a TON of vehicles throughout our house. These vehicles sometimes need to place to go (other than under my feet!). So, we grabbed some painters tape and created a race track! But, what’s a race track without some tunnels and bridges?! Thank you solo cups! The tracks don’t have to stay on the ground. Up the walls, over the couches, and down the kitchen drawers are all fun places for their cars to travel.
6. Bring Nature Indoors!
Not literally. But when all your littles want to do is venture outside, you can still let them scope it out from the sidelines. Talk about the weather, look for wildlife with a pair of binoculars, grab a bird book and identify birds at the feeder, watch and learn about the types of clouds. If you live in a larger city or busy neighborhood, people watch! These little window-watching conversations will introduce new fun, and even new vocabulary.
7. A timeless classic…Build a Fort!
What kid doesn’t love a fort? They are ripping your house apart anyway, might as well do it intentionally! Gather all the pillows, blankets, cushions and get to work. Have flashlights or lanterns? Great! Stuffed animal role players? Awesome! Forts aren’t an everyday occurrence over here, so making a rainy day extra special with this family activity is always a blast. Leave them up all day, eat lunch in there, watch a movie by lantern-light. It only takes a slight departure from “normal” for kids to think something is magical.
Now it’s your turn!
Choose one or a few of these rainy day activities for your little one and go have fun!