Bought penne pasta and intended to save a few pieces for threading and looping fine motor toddler activities. However, I realised I was ill-prepared for those activities because I didn't have wooden skewer sticks and extra shoelaces at home!
Not resigned to fate, I combed my kitchen drawer for random items and came across used thick plastic bubble tea straws that I had cleaned and set aside for recycling. As it turns out, penne pasta actually fits in the thick bubble tea straws! So this set the stage for a pasta drop fine motor activity.
Pasta Drop Fine Motor Activity for Young Toddlers!
You will need the following materials:
- Penne pasta pieces (just a small handful)
- Thick plastic bubble tea straw (ideal to use the clear transparent ones)
- A ball of play dough to stick the straw in and prop it to stand (hop over to my older post on play dough recipe)
Simple as that!
How the Play Went
I stuck the straw in some play dough and demonstrated dropping penne pasta pieces into the straw. When Gwen (17 months) showed interest in trying, I let her take over and watched on the side.
It was interesting to see her angling the straw towards herself so she could see the straw opening. She had to hold the penne pasta pieces vertically so that they were aligned with the shape of the straw before they could be pushed in. This turned out to be some sort of challenging shape sorter toy!
When she had placed 5 penne pasta pieces into the straw and the straw was full, she tried pushing more in and couldn't. I liked that she was honing an understanding of spatial relationships through this exercise.
Eventually she pulled the straw out of the play dough, watched the pasta pieces slide out, pulled out the one closest to the dough which was stuck in the straw and attempted to restart the activity on her own. This is definitely one activity that can be attempted independently without too much guidance and coaching.
Benefits of Pasta Drop Fine Motor Activity
- Fine motor skill development (Working those muscles in the hand to gain strength and dexterity for later skills like writing and use of scissors)
- Hand-eye coordination improvement
- Build focus and concentration
- Reinforce cause and effect
- Deepen understanding of spatial relationships (how objects fit in relation to one another, which is important for early mathematics skills)
- Encourage independent play and sense of esteem with task completion
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.