When I plan activities for my young toddler (15 months), I often make the mistake of making it complicated. Toddler activities don’t have to be complicated for learning benefits to be achieved. In fact, one can draw inspiration from real-life daily events or actions to create meaningful toddler activities.
Case in point I was pegging up Gwen’s artworks when the curious little human came tottering over to look at the wooden pegs I had laid out. She was really interested in how they worked! I demonstrated how the pegs open up and of course she tried to pry a closed one open and didn’t succeed. It would take a full year or more before she masters the pincer grip and finger strength to open the wooden pegs.
I thought, why not let her have a hand at pulling wooden pegs off instead? (Woohoo, nicely inserted pun there.) She could do that without frustration as a young toddler and she’s at a stage whereby she loves tugging at things.
So I grabbed 2 of Gwen’s favourite books (I chose the thin ones) and clipped wooden pegs all around.
Wooden Pegs Fine Motor Young Toddler Activity!
How the Play Went
I laid out the pegged books on Gwen’s sensory table and waited for her to take notice. When she did, I told her Mummy would read her the books once she removes the wooden pegs.
She held up one of the books and tried to turn the cover open but the wooden pegs held fast. I repeated the challenge again and pointed to the wooden pegs. Then something clicked and she tentatively pulled at a wooden peg. It came off easily. I quickly provided a container nearby for her to place the wooden peg in.
She removed another and placed the wooden peg into the container and tried opening the book again. This time she could partially open it. That was when she realized she had to get all the wooden pegs out of the way to open the book fully.
So she pruned all the wooden pegs and when she got the book open, I didn’t miss her triumphant smile. I like that easy challenges and tasks help to bolster a young toddler’s confidence.
Benefits of This Activity
- Explore a novel object and how it works, engaging the visual and touch senses in a new way
- Completing a challenge brings a sense of accomplishment, crucial for young toddlers who are learning to do everything themselves
- Problem solving: The child has to figure out how to pull the wooden pegs off from different directions
- Improve fine motor skills through tug and pull as well as hand-eye coordination
- Reinforce cause and effect learning since the reward of removing all the pegs was getting to read the favourite book
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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.