Most children enjoy fine motor activities, and while they're great fun they're educational too. Learning to string beads, roll play dough, and pick up small objects helps children strengthen their fingers and build dexterity that they will use later on to grip a pencil and learn to write. But before you go racing off to teach your toddler the correct pencil grip, remember that children learn best through play. So gather a few materials from around the house and have some fun!
For this project you will need:
Eucalyptus ZDough (Great for St. Patrick's Day play but you could use any variety.)
6 Pipe cleaners (It will help little ones to have one for each color of the rainbow so they can match the color of the bead to the pipe cleaner, but as you can see below it's fine to go with what you have lying around.)
Beads (Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple pony beads work well. I used dyed pasta that we had left over from another beading project.)
Dishes for sorting beads
Golden treasures (Beads, coins, jewels- whatever you have that looks precious enough to be found at the end of the rainbow!)
Now that your materials are assembled you can invite your little one to play. Depending on their age they will be able to help you sort the beads by color and then match the color beads to the color of the pipe cleaner. If sorting is out of their league just yet, they can string any beads onto the pipe cleaners. If your kiddos are older they can use the beads to make patterns on their pipe cleaners! Once the pipe cleaners are adorned the kiddos can divide the ZDough into two balls and stick the ends of the pipe cleaners in to make rainbow arches. Now all that's left is to put the treasure at the end of the rainbow!
*Project Note* This activity is wonderful for kids at a variety of ages and abilities. That said, it does include small items that may pose a choking hazard. Please use your own judgement when it comes to choosing materials and activities that are best of your little one and supervise their play.