Been venturing into more looping and color sorting fine motor activities for Gwen (18 months) and this is an alternative to the usual fruit loop cereal and straw version.
It's perfect when you have lots of leftover felt strip scraps from other projects or you want to teach specific colors not found in fruit loop cereal!
DIY Straw & Felt Loop Fine Motor Color Sorting Activity for Toddlers!
You'll require the following materials:
- Differently colored straws (Mine are used but cleaned ones, which explain the odd color combination haha)
- Some play dough to stick the straws to the table surface
- Felt loops (Hold both ends of a long rectangular felt strip together and staple to form circular loops)
Benefits of this Activity
- Fine motor practice (Building strength and dexterity in hand muscles and tendons which will enable children to pick up later skills like writing and use of scissors with ease)
- Improve hand-eye coordination
- Build focus and concentration
- Color sorting (Sorting and classifying objects help children notice how items are alike and different which is important for math learning)
- Enhance cognitive development in thinking, exploring and figuring things out
How Gwen's Play Went
I didn't provide instructions to Gwen for this activity because I wanted to observe how she played and processed this activity independently. It was interesting because Gwen immediately took a felt loop and placed it over the nearest straw, demonstrating that she understood this to be a looping activity.
She looped a few felt pieces over the straws without any color matching for a while. Then she fiddled with the straws by pulling them out of the play dough and sticking them back.
After these initial explorations, she took a felt loop, looked me in the eye as though awaiting my reaction, and then placed it over the straw with a corresponding color. I was taken by surprise by her color-matching attempt and even more so by the fact that she discovered another method of play by herself.
Shortly after, she lost interest and we concluded the activity. I'm encouraged by her interest in looping and color matching, and would repeat this activity once I've collected more differently colored straws!
I've learnt that it's good to take a step back and observe Gwen's free play more to see if she could start on an activity without immediately prompting or guiding her from the beginning. This would allow her time and space to process the situation on her own, develop cognitive awareness of things around her, and aid in decision-making. I would also try to wait for her cue before rendering help, so that would help promote independent play.
For more activities encouraging fine motor practice, also try Hair Tie Looping!
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.