My husband recently remarked that we need to give her more challenge. She’s figured out all of her play areas.
I think he was right. To her, she could move about the house and accomplish her work in a matter of minutes. We needed to do things differently to make her stop and ponder and wonder.
They say necessity is the mother of all invention. Well it certainly was a little while ago when Little Miss F. was so energetic and so into everything in the apartment. I think she literally took every accessible toy, puzzle, book, and stuffed animal out within her reach. Wherever I went Little Miss F. followed. I knew she was craving novelty and I thought, okay what can I do? LMF LOVES emptying things. It is her mission in life to empty everything -- bookshelves, baskets, bins, you name it, she’ll empty it.
I am not sure what made me think of using chopsticks and a milk jug to create an activity for LMF. Certainly, we have a lot of chopsticks. Beautiful chopsticks. My brother lives in Japan and over the years we’ve received many as gifts from him as well as many of our friends. So I thought, why not?
Using a glass milk jug with a narrow mouth opening and a variety of chopsticks on various lengths I showed LMF the materials as I placed them in the milk bottle.
Now I recognize for some parents the idea giving your child chopsticks to play with makes your heart leap in fear. You may say, “She could poke her eye out with those!” This is an activity I only use with careful supervision. In fact, with young children they always should be supervised, but we can also demonstrate our confidence in our children by respecting them to explore adult items. And -- know your child. What is your child comfortable playing with and what comforts you?
If this is of interest to you, it is easy to replicate at your own home, and it encourages children to really build their fine motor skills and hand-eye-coordination. Children are learning every moment of the day. By having a clear bottle LMF was able to observe the items inside and explore how this activity works. Babies and toddlers learn through their play, problem solving as they work.
Here’s the plan to create your own Milk Bottle Fine Motor grasping activity.
How do I make my own Milk Bottle Chopstick Fine Motor Activity?
Glass or clear plastic narrow mouthed bottle/container (the narrow mouth is key because when the bottle is turned over or on its side the contents are less likely to fall out.
Chopsticks, pipe cleaners, straws, or other long narrow objects. (I am going to offer LMF a similar option with pipe cleaners soon.)
I chose a variety of sizes, so some chopsticks were easy to remove while others were more challenging). The items should be within your child’s careful reach within the neck of the bottle.
I suggest setting up this activity in front of your child so he or she can observe how the materials can come in and out of the bottle.
Based on the width of the mouth of your bottle, inset several items. If you have items of varying heights, this will allow a little more room for your child to grasp specific pieces.
Safety Reminders: Adult supervision is highly recommended for all of the activities, ideas, and materials featured on this blog. As parents, guardians, and caregivers, you know your children best and your own comfort level with the different suggested activities. Littleredbarn is not responsible for any injury or damage from reproducing the activities, materials, or ideas from this blog.