Learning at this age doesn’t come in the form of ABC’s and 123’s. It comes from getting to experiment and experience things like cause and effect, “What happens when I…?” Your child is constantly experimenting and making new connections throughout the day with objects, toys, and people in their environment. Here is a fun activity to do together to add something fresh to that environment, one that uses a lot of fine motor, hand eye coordination, a little problem solving, and fun with you! You can find a brief description and materials list here.
The object of the activity is dropping the snowballs (cotton balls) through the chute (the toilet paper or paper towel roll). I thought it would be fun to mix it up and have it be a magnet on the refrigerator. So, I started by gluing two magnets to the back of the TP roll and then up onto the refrigerator it went. Super simple prep! And you wouldn’t even have to do that if you didn’t want to.
I gathered the “snowballs” and some utensils to make it interesting. This is where it gets fun. The first time you do it (or if your child is young), I’d keep it simple. Demonstrate a couple of the snowballs dropping through and then let them try and experiment away!
Here are some variations:
Use spoons, tongs, and tweezers to try to drop the snowballs through the chute. This offers different levels of small muscle movement in the hand and forearms good for fine motor development.
Offer a bowl or two to try and catch the snowballs as they drop through the chute. This brings a problem solving element to figure out where the ball is going to drop. They can try and try again until they catch it.
Or, just set out all of those items and let your child experiment with their favorite way to make the activity work.
No matter what method you choose let them experiment… even if they pull it off and start stuffing 20 cotton balls in, let them try. We aren’t going for perfect methodology, but the trial and error experience for them to learn!