Who knew colorful puff balls could be so entertaining. We already had some but apparently ones of different colors and shapes brought on a whole new world of play. I found these at the Dollar Tree and I’m probably going to go back and get one or two more of the different color variety packs.
They are also really great for color sorting activities and counting activities. I gave my almost-3-year-old some measuring spoons to scoop the balls and sort them into a container (in the picture below). I have her say each color out loud as she puts one in. Color sorting is old news for my 5-year-old so she decided to build a bunch of mini-snowman (in the picture above).
Great for counting practice too. ^
Another great color sorting material I found at the Dollar Tree are these heart beads. We use the basic pony beads a lot for color sorting and stringing but changing up the shape makes it new again! Worth the one dollar.
Pouring and scooping practice. I found the pack of mini paper cups at the Dollar Tree as well.
I should have snapped a photo of all the mess that was made afterwards when they discovered how fun it is to dump everything and scramble it all over the floor (but that quickly turned into clean up time)!
This is a Montessori-inspired many-in-one activity for preschoolers! It can be as simple as sorting the colors into different cups, or become more challenging if you add some counting exercises. If you look closely I’ve added tweezers as an option to practice picking up the small pom poms with.
I’ve included the number cards as a way to add more challenge. Which ever number is next in the pile is how many she sorts into one of the cups!
These mini pom poms are just another way to mix up materials and make learning more fun! They are very inexpensive, come in so many different colors, and can be utilized in many different activities.
This activity is pretty straight forward. We have the sandpaper numerals (1-9), and a large glass jar of cotton balls. If you don’t have the wood sandpaper numerals, you can always write them out on some index cards with a marker. First of all, young kids love cotton balls. My daughter says they’re “cute” and “chubby”. I’ve placed them in a large glass jar with lid for added interest, and she also gets practice unscrewing the lid. Moving on…
Basically, count out the number of cotton balls to correlate with the number on the card. In the photo above you can see that we’ve also included tongs as a sub activity to improve fine motor skills. Also, my three-year-old has an auntie instructor helping out. Very often kids will want help, or not want to do a particular activity. That’s fine… you shouldn’t pressure your kid to do a certain activity, because it simply won’t work. But, if a kid is watching YOU do an activity, they’re learning almost as much as if they did it themselves. Activities should be encouraged to be participated in but it’s amazing how quick they want to jump in if you begin the activity yourself.
Having your child clean up and put away an activity after they’re done is very important. They will learn a greater respect for the materials, and a sense of structure. Through consistent reminders of cleaning up after each activity your child will begin to do it on their own as a natural process of the activity.