Life has been busy since my last post! Between the full calendar of school activities this fall, Thanksgiving and everyday life, I am happily exhausted. Coffee is now back in my routine after nearly 3 year break. I didn't drink coffee during my pre-and postnatal times. Wow, did I miss you coffee. It's good to have you back my old friend.
Back to toddler life...Lately I'm finding Miss F is able to do so much more throughout the day (napping less and less nowadays!) and is so excited for every new adventure. I am regularly creating new activities for her to enjoy at home. Some are huge hits and others not so much. Today I want to share one of her most favorite recent play activities--pom pom transfer play. If you are looking for an easy and fun activity for your toddler--this is it!
While shopping for our fabric for her Halloween costume, Miss F and I spied some other very interesting materials. Large multicolored jingle bells immediately caught our attention. Another one was this bright rainbow assortment of pom poms in various sizes. Taking the bag from the shelf, Miss F stretched to reach it and then loved carrying the bag and swishing it.
She is loving transfer and posting activities and these are great developmental opportunities for her at this age. Transfer activities are important because they support children’s holistic growth in many areas. They allow children to explore cause and effect; they encourage full sensory play (tactile exploration, the auditory experience of the pink, plunk, plink when using heavier objects, the visual experience of seeing an empty container as it becomes full); they encourage children to cross the midline; and they allow children to exercise their fine motor skills, developing their pincer grasp which becomes so important as children develop and begin foundational skill tasks (such as using utensils, pencils, etc.) Also, these are developmental milestones that are on most pediatrician’s developmental skills questionnaires, and you can support your child’s growth with fun activities!
Setting up this activity for Miss F I began with an empty, clean, clear glass milk jug, the pom-poms and an IKEA basket. I set everything up, taking the Pom poms out of their packaging and placing them in the wicker basket in front of Miss F and she was immediately intrigued. I didn't even need to show Miss F the plan. She immediately took to taking the pom poms and inserting them in the empty milk jug. It was great to see how readily she accepted this invitation to play. Organizing materials is one of her favorite activities.
Now that Miss F is not putting as much into her mouth, I trust her more with smaller items like the mini pom poms.
Once she filled everything she then wanted to remove the items. It got a bit tricky with the larger pom poms, she needed my help with those. I often use a chopstick to help spool out the well stuffed pom poms.
Realizing that she would have a challenge removing the large ones on her own I also offered an extra large wide mouthed canning jar. What I found fascinating was she preferred the milk jug!
A little later I sorted out the large pom poms and placed them all in the extra large wide mouthed canning jar. I also added the tiniest of pom poms as I felt she was definitely not going to put them in her mouth. (yay!)
Now Miss F will carry these materials around with her (there always seems to be a pom pom in her hands!) and spend time working on sorting, transferring, and emptying the milk jug. When her Abuela & Abuelo came for a visit she quickly ran to her room to gather her pom pom materials to show and share. This necessitated some negotiation as I offered to carry the milk jug down the steps to our sunken living room as she carried the pom pom basket. Seeing me use a chopstick to dislodge the pom poms, Miss F now tries using chopsticks to remove the pom poms too!
There are so many possible adaptations to this activity. We’ve also adapted this activity using red & green Christmas themed jingle bells, and marbles! We bought our jingle bells at Joann Fabrics and the marbles from Fishs Eddy. I’ll post photos of these on Instagram later this week!
How to Create Your Own Homemade Transfer Activity for Your Toddler: Supporting Fine Motor Skills, Crossing the Midline, Sensory Play, & Fun!
If you want to recreate this activity at home for your toddler--it is easy and I guarantee you most likely have the materials necessary in your home. Just look for sturdy container with a wide enough mouth to allow your child to place different items inside. I love using glass milk jugs and canning jars. I know people who also use recycled plastic containers and have either used the opening as is or left the cap closed and cut an opening. It is a different experience for your child to do this activity with a clear container versus and opaque one. Both experiences are valuable!
For the items to add--the potentials are limitless. Considering using:
Baby food pouch tops
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.