So I have a lot of ideas and quite a few projects that I keep meaning to start but I never seem to quite get around to them. So a couple of days ago when I sent the boys out for a walk with my husband I decided it was time to get started. My first project was super easy, but such a great activity to increase fine motor control and better yet to keep the boys busy for more than 5 minutes.
This activity would be perfect for a busy bag as it is small but you could also make a bigger version. Total cost of this project – $4, I made two (one for each of my twins) with lots of leftovers to make other items.
Firstly you need some match sticks and some containers. I purchased some tooth pick holders ($2 for a pack of 4 at my local cheap shop), but you could also use a sugar shaker. The other option is to reuse a container and drill some appropriate sized holes in the top.
I took the tooth picks out of the containers – I don’t recommend using toothpicks with toddlers as they are sharp and we don’t want any accidents. I then sorted out my matchsticks into colours, and decided to just use the plain one for this project and save the colours for another “busy bag” idea.
It was simply a matter of then putting enough matchsticks into two of the containers and closing the lid back on. Super easy.
My only recommendation is to check that your match sticks will fit through the holes. The tooth pick holders I chose had 1 large hole and a set of 5 small holes. As it was a cheap item I found that two of the holders had smaller holes that weren’t formed completely and the match sticks wouldn’t fit through. Obviously I didn’t use these ones, but they are perfect for continuing to hold all the tooth picks!
This activity gives my boys the option of threading through the easier larger hole, or the harder smaller holes. Both will increase their fine motor control skills, as well as increase their awareness of spatial relationships. I start off with all the toothpicks out and let me thread them all through, but as they work it out I am sure they will be able to take the top off themselves and pour them all out, or alternatively shake them out one by one. Either way it keeps them busy and happy, and better yet it helps them learn.
You could also take this idea further and create a different container for each colour, wither by putting a piece of the same coloured paper under each container or sticking it inside or outside the container, and ask the child to sort the match sticks out into the matching colour container.