Today I planned on making some clay Christmas tree ornaments with my toddler but that totally didn’t go to plan. Why? Because at two years old she thinks clay is playdough and stacked all my beautifully prepared decorations on top of each other. And then she crushed them. (Can I add ‘and my dreams’ here or does that sound mean?!) Toddlers do not check out Pinterest, they couldn’t care less for what looks pretty on Instagram either but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be involved in some fun Christmas activities too. This activity was totally led by her and it kept her happy and entertained for ages, so maybe a fine motor Christmas activity for toddlers is the perfect kind of activity after all?
You will need:
Festive coloured pony beads
Red and green coloured bowls
Red and green coloured scoops
Tip – using a tray is a great way of stopping too many beads rolling away!
Our pony beads are the same ones that we used to make our heart ornaments, they’ve totally earnt their keep! For this activity I simply set out all the items on a tray for my daughter with the pony beads in the largest bowl. I specifically chose a bowl rather than the box we use for sensory play as that’s pretty huge and I figured I would need hundreds of beads to fill it.
She loved picking the beads up and putting them into the silicone cupcake cases and then pouring them into other cases or the bowl. Using the scoops was also a big hit, either scooping the beads herself or getting me to hold the scoops while she put the beads in there.
Ways to adapt this for older children:
My daughter is 26 months old and while I encouraged her to sort the red beads into the red bowl and the green beads into a green bowl this was a bit too complicated for her, it may work well for older children though. You could also ask older children to count how many beads are in the bowl, obviously you don’t need to put all the beads in there at once, I’m sure two or three would be perfectly acceptable counting for a lot of toddlers!
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