If you’re a parent, you probably know what poms are…you know, the small fluffy balls that you find at the craft store in various sizes and colors. These little fluff balls come in handy for so many different things. They can be used for crafts – they make awesome caterpillars! They can be used to make different paintings or texture boards. And they are great educational tools! Today, I’m sharing a few of the different (and simple) ways that we enjoy Learning with Poms!
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Poms Container Push
This was the very first pom activity that I created for my little nugget, and I made it for her before she turned one. This simple activity promotes the use of fine motor skills, by encouraging your little one to push poms through a small hole. Trust me, this incredibly easy-to-make activity will not only excite your toddler, but it will hold their attention as well.
All you need for this activity is some poms and a plastic container (just pull one out of the recycling and give it a wash). I recycled a plastic soup container from the grocery store, and it works great. All you have to do is cut one (or more) holes a bit smaller in size than the poms you plan to use for the activity. Since I made this for my daughter when she was still a baby, I chose to make one hole and have her push the larger poms through. Almost two years later, she still grabs this activity off of the shelf from time to time.
Poms Color Sort
When your toddler is working on learning their colors, doing a poms color sort can be a helpful and fun activity. You may need to acquire some different colored cups or bowls (that match the colors of your poms). We were gifted a set of colorful stacking cups when our daughter was born – not only are they one of our daughter’s favorite toys, but they come in handy for activities like this one! If you don’t have any colored cups or bowls on hand, I’ve seen other ideas on Pinterest where people have stuck the little round, colored stickers in the bottom of a muffin tin, to achieve the same result.
Once you have your cups (or sorting apparatus setup) grab your toddler and your poms, sit down with them and explain that the goal of the activity is to place each pom in the cup that matches in color. To make this a bit more difficult (and to engage those fine motor skills), I purchased some mini tongs on Amazon. For the added challenge, have your toddler use the tongs to move the poms to their appropriate cup, otherwise they can always use their fingers!
Ice Cream Cone Counting
Poms are a wonderful counting tool and they can be used in so many different ways. In fact, we utilized them when we were working with our Number Buckets (http://capturingparenthood.com/number-buckets/).
And then, I stumbled upon this cute and creative ice cream counting idea, that Mary Catherine shared, over at Fun-A-Day (http://fun-a-day.com/summer-math-preschool-ice-cream-theme/). What child doesn’t love ice cream? So, why not set out to make some colorful ice cream cones, and learn to count along the way?
For this activity, you will need to cut some triangles (cones) out of brown construction paper (as many triangles as you would like for your toddler to count up to). Once you have them cut out, number each one (in order) using a black marker. Then lay them out on a table, or flat surface, grab some small poms (and a pair of mini tongs, if you want to promote those fine motor skills) and have your toddler start scooping out the appropriate amount of ice cream, per cone. This activity is most-definitely toddler approved. You can even use a little imagination, by helping them assign each color of pom an ice cream flavor of their choosing!
Sorting Size with Poms
So, now your toddler is a master at sorting poms by color…can they sort them by size? Our bag of poms included four varying sizes of poms, so I got out four varying sizes of bowls. I made sure not to utilize bowls that matched any of the colors of poms, because I did not want to make the activity confusing for my daughter, since we had recently sorted the poms by color.
We set out the four bowls and we talked a little bit about the different sizes. I asked her which bowl was the biggest and which one was the smallest. Then we poured our poms out on the table and I asked her which poms were the biggest and which were the smallest. And then I told her that the goal of this activity was to place the different sizes of poms into their coordinating bowls (i.e. the biggest poms should go in the biggest bowl, and so forth).
Once again, to engage those fine motor skills, we used our mini tongs to place the poms into the bowls. When we started, I figured that my little nugget might have a harder time grasping this size-sorting activity, but she completed it like a champ, and had a great time in the process!
I came across this idea for sorting between big and small, over at the Laughing Kids Learn blog (http://laughingkidslearn.com/sorting-between-big-and-small).
Learning with poms – the possibilities are endless! Have you done any learning activities using poms before? If so, which one was your (or your little one’s) favorite?