Learning Activities · Sensory Play

Pompoms and Straws

I would love to do a simple activity EVERY WEEK, hopefully every Tuesday, that anyone could through together for their child in a just a few minutes. This series of simple easy activities will be our

TAKE A MINUTE TUESDAY

Took my sister and I a whole weekend to come up with that INCREDIBLE name! Hahaha! There is a case to be made that motherhood kills brain cells.

So for todays Take A Minute Tuesday I would like to present Pompoms and straws.

Supplies

  • A straw per child
  • A pompom or 10 (easily substituted by a cotton ball, ping pong ball, balled up tissue paper)
  • Colored paper or large paper
  • Tape

Toddler Setup

  • Cut a couple different colored paper in half
  • Tape sliced paper to a table
  • Place pompoms and straws on the table

Activity Time

My 2 year old LOVED blowing through the straw and directing her pompoms all over the table. In the beginning I didn’t give any instructions. We simply explored the activity and laughed when the pompoms when flying off the table. She discovered that the “fat” pompom was hard to move and that the little one would go past all the paper if she blew too hard.

After 5 minutes I started asking her what color the pompom would land on. I even challenged her to make the blue pompom land on the purple paper or the yellow one to make it all the way to the green paper. This added a new level and challenge to an activity she was already enjoying.

When she got annoyed at reviewing her colors (insert eye roll) We lined up all the pompoms and she tried to make them all land on a paper as quickly as possible. This was very fun! She loved the bit of stress this added to the play. After she had shot all her pompoms I’d ask her how many landed on the blue paper.

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Think of all the learning that she was able to do because I took 3 minutes to gather a few supplies and set up this simple activity.

This activity helped my toddler

  1. explore physics
  2. strengthen lungs (no joke she was huffing and puffing)
  3. work on color recognition
  4. practice counting
  5. have a blast

Extension

  • I could easily add a few tapped down toilet paper rolls to add the challenge of blowing the pompoms through the tubes.
  • Create a game where you and your toddler race to get the most pompoms on your favorite color

 

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Preschooler Set Up

  • Take a large piece of paper (back of wrapping paper or butcher paper) and draw a target
  • OPTION you could also use cut up pieces of paper with different letters, numbers, shapes or even sight words instead of a target
  • Fill the different sections with whatever concept you want your preschooler to work on
  • Tape to table
  • Add straws and pompoms

Activity time

I decided to do teen numbers and some letters are working on in our reading lessons for our target practice. My 5 year old had already played with her little sisters set up so she had already spent some time experimenting with the activity. If she had not I would have handed her the pompoms and straw and let her simply shoot around for a while.  I had Evy blow her pompoms and when they landed I’d ask her, “What number did the pompom land on?” or “what sound does that letter make?”

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After we had worked on the sounds for a while we decided to see how many points she could get 4 tries. After each blow I had her write down the number she got on a white board. At the very end I added them all up. This could easily be made into a game.

This activity was a favorite with my preschoolers. I often had children asking if we could do the pompom game!

I hope this activity was simple enough for you to feel inspired to set up for your little and get some good fun play going on your Tuesday!

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