Lately the toddlers & 2's groups have been all about the Poms! I brought a big bag in on Monday, and we have incorporated them into our play for the entire week because they seem to really enjoy them! The fantastic thing about pom poms are that they are inexpensive, different sizes and colors, and can be used for
I began by placing the pom poms in little bowls and had card board tubes, spoons, and empty tissue boxes scattered around. (All of the toddlers recent favorite things!) The three of them sat down together and began exploring them. It was interesting to see that all three became engaged in different explorations. One child kept dropping the poms through the card board tube, one tried scooping them up with the spoon (after unsuccessful attempts she picked up the pom and placed it on her spoon; yay problem solving!), and another liked throwing them EVERYWHERE (and dumping them on his head.) Afterwards they helped pick up EVERY. SINGLE. POM POM. I held out the bag and they dropped them in one by one. I would say "quick! get it!" and point; they would run at full speed to the poms, laugh, and come put it in the bag.
The next day we tried putting out different size brooms and the pom poms again. The toddlers often take the broom and "sweep" the floor so we thought this would be a way to extend the invitation. We gave them smaller brooms that we have, and they played the with bristles. I think if we gave them our actual broom they may have swept them up.
To continue on with the pom poms I decided to create an invitation that was a little on the Halloween theme. I covered our giant mirror in sticky spider webs and put the pom poms out. The children bee lined it straight for the mirror and pointed. I didn't say anything, and they started putting the pom poms on one by one.
The two year old group spotted the web so they joined us. They figured out that you could throw them at the web and they would stick.
They would pick up the different ones and say what color it was. They new most, but we practiced black, orange, and green. One little girl came over and yelled "Spider Food!" She placed the spider in the web and started feeding the spider all the pink pom poms. "He still hungry, he wants more!" She said, and she would pick more pink ones off the web and feed the spider.
It's always rewarding as an educator to see an activity extend for longer than a day. It's even more rewarding when you see the benefits and learning of play. Hand - eye coordination, fine motor skills, language development, color recognition, sensory, gross motor.. (to name a few) were all major parts of this play! I wonder what we'll do next?!
- Leslie Dionne