Today’s post comes from a friend of mine. Ivonne, in addition to blogging over at My Little Smarty Pants, is a member of my local homeschooling support group and is one of the most creative young homeschooling mothers I’ve ever met.
My days of occupying a toddler have been over for several years, which is what prompted me to ask Ivonne to do this post 🙂 I hope you enjoy her post and forward it, and My Little Smarty Pants, along to your friends with young children.
Looking for ways to keep your toddlers busy while working with the older kiddos on their school work each day? This fun and easy activity will keep them busy for awhile!
All you need to do is eat an entire can of Pringles! Try not to do it all in one sitting because you know the Pringles slogan, once you pop you can’t stop! Trust me, I know…
Once the can is empty, punch holes in the lid. I used a regular handheld one hole puncher that you can pick up at the dollar store or Walmart. Since I had six different colored pipe cleaners, I made six holes. Your holes will vary. I then bought a pack of white reinforcement labels and colored each one with a marker to match the color pipe cleaners we have. We have purple, white, pink, blue, yellow and green. I cut pipe cleaners in half and showed them to JZ. At first, I just helped her put the pipe cleaners through the holes. As she got used to it and able to do it on her own, I showed her how to match the colors. It took her a few times to get the concept, but within a few minutes, she knew what to do.
This game is great for toddlers because-
1. It works on fine motor skills.
2. It helps toddlers with color recognition.
3. Toddlers love to hear the little “plink” sound as the pipe cleaner hits the bottom of the can.
My only word of caution is that I noticed as she played more with the pipe cleaners, the wire on the inside started to come out more and was poking her little fingers so I would suggest adding something to the bottom to keep it from being too sharp or just giving them new ones to work with every so often, which is what I do. We have WAY too many pipe cleaners as it is!
JZ loves this activity and I have it set out on her shelf for her to play anytime she wants. She plays with it several times a day and it keeps her occupied while I work with her older brother. In fact, she is playing with it right now as I typed this post up!
Meg Grooms is a long-time homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle and currently call Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.