Inspired by That's Not My Lamb by Usborne Touchy-Feely Books, I created an activity for Gwen (16 months) to create her very own lamb!
DIY Pet Lamb Bookish Play for Toddlers!
I prepared the following materials:
- Cotton wool
- White pom pom balls (I placed them in a paint palette because it's a fine motor activity for Gwen to allocate each pom pom ball to a slot)
- Homemade glue paste (I used the recipe by Kidspot Au to make paper mache glue from just 2 simple ingredients - water and flour)
- Drawing of a lamb (important parts: head, body, legs and tail)
- Masking or painter's tape (to stick the drawing to the table)
Essentially, do feel free to use any sensory materials that is white, soft, fluffy or furry to mimick the woollen coat of lamb.
Benefits of this Activity
- Helps develop understanding and recognition of animals (in this case, a lamb which you can explain is a baby sheep)
- Build vocabulary and language skills (hold a conversation about the texture of a lamb's coat and use plenty of adjectives such as "soft", "furry" and "fluffy" to describe it)
- Foster imagination and creativity
- Stimulate the visual and touch senses (when your little one explores the different ingredients and homemade glue paste)
- Fine motor skill development (especially when it comes to placing the materials within the outlines of the lamb's body and filling any gaps)
Our Play Experience
I read the book to Gwen but instead of the usual ending, I asked if she would like to make her own lamb. She replied "ya" enthusiastically and I took that as a cue to start the activity!
For a good 5 minutes, Gwen was actually more interested in peeling off the masking tape that held the drawing to the table. Because I practise child-initiated play, I let her explore her interest and regarded the distraction - tape peeling - as a good additional fine motor exercise!
When I managed to get her attention to the drawing of the lamb, I pointed out the different body parts of the lamb and told her our mission was to "dress up our lamb". I introduced the different ingredients and let her touch and explore those. She had fun squeezing the marshmallows, displacing the white pom pom balls and pulling out strands of the cotton wool. I guided her to place the ingredients in the lamb's body and she followed suit for a while but was more engrossed in experiencing the ingredients which was totally okay with me!
I noticed that she didn't touch the homemade glue paste at all and figured its lumpy appearance probably turned her off. I dipped my fingers into the glue paste to show her the texture and encouraged her to touch it but she refused. My experience with sensory play is that children can be fearful of anything new, big, loud or different. It is a natural primal instinct to help kids be cautious and it is our job as parents to slowly guide them to face their fears and continually expose them to new things outside their experiences.
We completed our pet lamb artwork in the end without using any homemade glue paste. It was quality time spent together and I think that's the ultimate goal of toddler activities - everything else is a bonus!
To follow Gwen's play adventures, check out @miraculove_sg (Instagram) or A Toddler Activity A Day Facebook Group.
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.