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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fine Motor Skills Fun with Colanders and Pipe Cleaners

Great fine motor skills activity

Dollar bin finds

I’m always looking for fun, inexpensive, and simple activities to do with Dylan, Jake and Emma.  Entertaining three busy 2 ½ year olds requires me to be creative.  I saw this idea awhile ago on Pinterest and when I was at Target with Dylan on Monday we happened to be in the Dollar bin section and came across these adorable plastic colanders.  I already had a ton of pipe cleaners at home, but you can find them at the dollar store.  This activity will only cost around $2 and its reusable!  Not only is this activity inexpensive and easy, there is NO mess!  That's is always an added bonus to me!

Dylan, Jake and Emma have great fine motor skills and they really enjoy activities that help them reinforce this skill.  This activity also allowed them to make a very cool piece of artwork that you can keep out for awhile or put away and save it for next time.
*Safety note* I find pipe cleaners to be sharp on the ends so for younger kids you can bend the ends back to prevent scratches, but in general kids should be supervised with this activity for obvious safety concerns.
Great fine motor skills activity
The idea is to have them feed the pipe cleaner ends through the holes in the colander.  Emma began by putting the two ends in to create what she announced was “a rainbow”.  Jake liked Emma’s idea of the rainbow, but he of course only wanted to use red (his favorite color).  
Jake hard at work
Emma concentrating
Dylan was very into the idea of putting just one end into one hole on the colander.  Then I showed him he could put the side that was in the air into a different hole and he was very excited so he began to do that with all of his pipe cleaners. 

Dylan learning to try it a different way
Dylan doing it the first way

It was interesting to see how differently they did the activity.  Jake and Emma liked putting the pipe cleaners in tightly and pushing them down and even bending them whereas Dylan liked having nice arches.  There is no right or wrong way to do the activity, which is a great thing for toddlers!
Dylan was so proud of his artwork
Jake was very proud too!

This activity was a complete success and they were happily playing with it until we ran out of pipe cleaners.  Luckily Nana just happened to have picked up some more at the store that day so now we will be able to extend our activity even longer next time!  Thanks Nana!

Our cool artwork  

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