One of the things i love most (among a list of about 87 million things) about my youngest, Little Miss Sara, is her giggle. It is the most beautiful, explosive little giggle in the world! And she hands it out so freely…
The Little Lady is happiest trying out something new, and i love creating fun activities for her to do, but sometimes, there’s really just not time to sit down and get complicated. Dinner needs to be cooked, i’ve run out of ideas or supplies or perhaps i just don’t feel all that energetic – sometimes cheering her on from the comfort of the sofa is all i can manage! 🙂 Luckily, toddlers tend to be very ‘forgiving’ little creatures(when it suits them), and even the simplest of offerings elicits a smile.
Today i want to share with you 3 super simple activities that you can set up in minutes, and that’s guaranteed to get you that little giggle!
1. Popsicle Stick Color Match-Up
Popsicle sticks are such a great craft supply to have on hand. They’re colorful, sturdy and , depending on the activity, they can even be reused. This is one of those activities… when your little one’s done with this one, or the box has seen better days, just gather up the popsicle sticks, and put them to use elsewhere!
What you need
An old shoebox (or empty cereal box)
Some colored dot stickers
A hobby knife
White paint and a paintbrush (optional)
(If your box has writing on it, you may want to give the lid a quick paint, like i did, but it is optional.) All you need to do is pop a couple of colored dots onto the lid of the shoebox, then carefully slice a slit in front of each dot. Show your toddler how to match the popsicle stick with the color, and watch the magic happen! Even if your little one doesn’t get the color matching concept straight away, working the popsicle stick into the slit is great for hand-eye co-ordination, working those little muscles in the hands and fingers, and practicing the pincer grasp.
Variations : You could add a letter of the alphabet to the one end of the popsicle stick, and have a corresponding letter on top of or above one of the dots. This would be great for slightly older kids, or children that are starting to do letter recognition activities.
Here’s the final product… Doesn’t that look like fun!?!
My little monkey sure had fun trying to get the popsicle sticks in… color recognition might still take a little time though!
2. TP Threading
If there’s one thing that we’ve all got available, it’s toilet paper rolls… instead of throwing them away, just keep them together somewhere out of the way for a rainy day. They always come in handy!
What you need
Some toilet paper or kitchen towel rolls
A hole punch
All you need to do is punch a couple of holes into the cardboard roll. Use a pencil to poke another hole or two in towards the centre if your punch can’t reach. Then hand your little one a bunch of colored straws and let them get threading! So many colors and so many patterns!
3. Formula Can (Coffee Can) Card Drop
With the Little Lady still enjoying a bottle or two a day (sometimes a lot more! 🙂 ), formula cans are another thing that i have at my disposal. Great for making musical instruments and storing extra art supplies, the humble formula can (or coffee can if you prefer) transforms into a fantastic fine motor activity for toddlers in less than 30 seconds! Even the littlest of little ones (as young as 15 months) can give this one a go!
What you need
An empty can (a formula can, or coffee can work well, but anything with a flexible top that’s easy to cut would do the job)
A pack of cards (yes – ours are Peppa Pig 🙂 – best if you don’t mind them getting a little bent and wonky)
A hobby knife
I promised you less than 30 seconds – so here goes. Take your hobby knife, and cut a slit in the lid of the can.
Okay, okay – pass it to your little one and show them how to slid a card into the slot – great for hand-eye co-ordination and for teaching your child hand strength regulation (to not bend the cards).
My little miss loved this one… She spent a good 20 minutes on this, although at least half of that was spent throwing cards up in the air… 🙂
There you have it… 3 super easy fine motor activities to do for your toddler. Ours are ready to go… maybe this Mama can have an ‘easy weekend’…
I hope you’ve found these ideas helpful! Please, feel free to share with friends and family, and don’t forget to like our page on Facebook – that way, you’ll be the first in the know, and you’ll never miss a thing!