Cranberry Fine Motor Skills Play
Cranberry Sensory Play & Fine Motor Fridays Blog Hop
Exploring, discovering, touching, learning, observing, practicing, scooping, tweezing, sticking, pinching, dumping, filling, pouring, & laughing!
It’s a great time of year to find cranberries at reasonable prices with the holidays coming up! I have never used cranberries as a filler let alone a fine motor skills activity. Very festive and I will turn it into sauce tomorrow (except for the play dough ones)! I did a quick set up with the cranberry bags, a bin, and assorted fine motor skills instruments. I have been adding these nifty egg cartons lately (wholesale bulk food warehouse). I chose to put out a tea bag strainer/infuser thing (??), simple tongs, mini ladle, tweezers (yes they look like alligators), a skewer, and a flat-ish spoon. Each one presented a different fine motor skills challenge.
Our very first step was to dump the bags into the bin. As often as possible, I try to have him help with the set up. Also very good skills! He wanted to know immediately what the activity was today, but I tried to gently push him to explore the feeling of the cranberries. This is a very hard idea for Liam to wrap his head around. The simple act of exploring and discovering does not come easily to Liam because it does not really involve a task or objective he can see the results of immediately. He did play for a few minutes but was ready to get started.
Fine Motor Skills Activity
Liam was asked to use each tool to fill a row in the egg tray. Again, like previous activities, I tried to make it so he could move on to a new task pretty quickly and try something new to keep his interest. He had to use each one 5 times to complete each row. Plenty of fine motor skills practice without becoming boring! Some were more difficult than others, but he seemed to enjoy each one. Probably helps that I had also popped some popcorn to eat as we were playing, haha!
First up was this contraption used for tea. Seriously I don’t even know why we have it, but if you squeeze it together the front opens. Got to be good for fine motor skills right. I did a poor job demonstrating it (kept loosing my grip) and thought uh-oh as I handed it over to him. He got it pretty good and filled his row!
Next up, clear tongs. Liam is awfully familiar with these. We are really working on changing his whole hand, fist grasp of everything to improve his fine motor skills. Another successful row in the egg carton filled.
Third, mini ladle from some pretend play kitchen set we no longer have! I kept this for our sensory bins and it also makes a great tool for fine motor skills work too. He does have to slow down and work a little to pick up just one each time, but he gets it and completes the third row.
Looking through our large, messy miscellaneous kitchen drawer, I saw these skewers and thought one might work for poking the cranberry to pick it up. Definitely much more precise work and fine motor skills involved. This one took him longer than the rest, but he accomplished it and was happy to be done. I can see how he may not have wanted to stick with the whole activity if he had to use just one kitchen tool. (Skewers can be a little sharp so use your best judgement and supervise your children accordingly)
Last row to fill and a mini spoon with a sort of flat head. If he was to quick, the berry would roll right off ! He had to concentrate as he worked to pick up one and carefully move it over to the correct space.
Extending the Activity
After another popcorn break (several already), he was still eager to see what else I had set out for him to use. These mini containers had easy enough lids so I directed him to open the containers, fill them, close the containers and neatly stack them. This task not only involved fine motor skills and listening to directions but also problem solving! After he filled the container too full, I waited quietly to see what would happen as he tried to push the lid on to it. At first he seemed a bit frustrated but quickly got he had too many berries in the container. The rest went smoothly and it was time for another popcorn break!
Play Dough & Cranberries Fine Motor Skills Play
As long as he was interested (popcorn bowl refilled) I was supplying materials for play. I got out our big bag of play dough (6 weeks and still great). He filled the container with cranberries and helped me make two big balls. While he was eating, I started pushing cranberries into the play dough. Soon enough, he joined in and was filling his ball of play dough too. I encouraged him to use his pincer grasp as much as possible since he tends to palm things (even small cranberries, not effective). Play dough is always awesome to add to any activity!
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It’s Fine Motor Fridays Again!