The Christmas pompom push activity is a festive fine motor task. It requires a little bit of set up, but uses items you should have around the house. It only requires them to follow 1 step directions so it’s great for younger toddlers and even older babies.
Toddlers will have a blast with this because of the colorful, fuzzy pom poms that they make disappear with just a little push of their finger. Older babies from 9 months on can even do this activity to practice using their index finger for pointing (which they’ll use when reading, looking at pictures, and expressing to you what they want).
They will be learning color matching/sorting, pointing & pincer grasp fine motor skills, You can also incorporate a lot of language during this activity by talking to your child about what they are doing.
I love these cheap, simple, home-made activities that take little time to set up because you can do it when you have just a few free minutes in your day. It’s not the prettiest craft, but it gets the job done!
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What you need:
A cardboard box – small/medium sized
Glue or tape
What to do:
Draw a tree on one side of a piece of paper. It doesn’t have to be fancy or look nice. Your toddler won’t know the difference!
Glue or tape it on the bottom of a cardboard box. I used glue dots because I had them handy, but any glue or double sided tape will work.
Draw a bunch of small circles throughout the tree in different colors matching the pompoms that you have. I did used red, green, pink, and blue.
Take your box cutter and cut out squares around those circles (circles are too hard to cut out and squares work just fine with the push through). It may be a little tough at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. Once you do the first one, use a pompom to push through to make sure you’re making them the right size and they’re big enough to fit through, but small enough that it take a little effort. You can push the cardboard in through the box if you can’t get a complete cut. Don’t worry about how it looks, it will still do the job.
Tip: fold away any extra flaps underneath the box so you’re only cutting through one layer. You don’t want to make your job any harder!
Take the markers of the same color and again make larger circles around those holes so the color is visible.
How to play:
Here comes the fun part! Demonstrate how to do it for them first. Take a pompom and push it through the corresponding color hole. Give them the pompoms and let them go at it. I promise, this will keep your baby or toddler busy for some time.
For babies, you can start with the pompom right on the hole and hold their hand as they just push the pom pom through with their index finger. Once they’re starting to work on pincer grasp (around 10 months), you can have them start trying to pick up the pompom. Use your own hands to assist them if needed.
For younger 1 year olds, just having them pick up the pom pom and push it through any hole will be sufficient. For older toddlers, have them do color matching and sorting.
Make sure you’re keeping a close eye when your child does this activity because these pompoms are small in enough to go right in their mouth.
How to incorporate language:
Always talk to them about all aspects of the activity as they are doing it.
Talk about the colors. Say the colors over and over every time they pick up that color. Help them match the color to the hole.
Use action words like pick up, put in, push.
Use noun words and point to those things- fingers, hand, box, Christmas tree, hole, pompom.
For older toddlers, ask questions such as: What color is that pompom? What’s on the box? Where is the hole? Do you like this activity?
Repeating these words over and over during the same activity and doing it several times will definitely help to increase their vocabulary.
I hope your child loves this activity and you continue to do it for the first couple years of their life!
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