Monday, August 11, 2008

Simple, Big Fun for Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers

Want to occupy your toddler for hours? (OK, 15 minutes tops, but that seems like hours when we're talking toddler time) Here's my secret--puff balls. Lots of them in different colors and sizes. The possibilities are endless with these little marvels. I started with a modest package of same-sized primary and binary colors (all but purple--I was a little disappointed). With the success of that set, I went on to buy a package of 750 assorted puff balls in all sizes, colors, and designs. What do we do with them? Well, at first, we just threw them. Everywhere. The LG thought it was fun, and I was relieved that he wasn't throwing hard things, so I let him have his fun. Here are some other ideas for puff ball games:

1. Count them.
2. Add and subtract with them.
3. Sort them by color or size, then count them again.
4. Compare sizes.
5. Glue them to paper to make 3-D pictures.
6. Glue them together to make puff-ball sculptures.
7. Have an indoor snowball fight (big fun for those of us in no-snow parts of the country!)
8. Have a puff-ball hunt. (Like an Easter Egg Hunt but without the candy!)
9. See how many puff balls it takes to fill containers of various shapes and sizes.
10. Take turns making pictures out of the puff balls. Try to guess what the other person is making.
11. Just throw them up in the air and watch them fall. This works best for my LG!

Want more toddler fun ideas or the inspiration to create your own? This book has 365 practical and creative ways to keep your toddler industriously "busy"--I use it nearly every day!


Teresa said...

Such fun! My kiddos loved playing with these in French class.

Donna said...

Great ideas! Makes me want to run out and buy a mega-pack of puffballs! They really would be great for early math skills, giving the kids something tangible to count with that's a bit more interesting than sticks or beans...they could end up being a distraction, but definitely FUN!