Pom Poms or puff balls as we call it here are great for practicing fine motor skills leading to any kind of learning , math, language, concepts etc. Most of us have seen that picture of colorful pom poms in an egg carton with a set of tongs nearby hoping that the tongs will be used to transfer the balls to the egg carton. The sense of surprise and sadness when your child dumps all of the pom poms while pretending that the tongs never existed in the first place is not new to me. Both my kids love fine motor play but egg cartons and pom poms have never worked here, no matter how hard I try. Today I said yes to their idea of fun with pom poms.
Their idea was to spread pom poms all over the living room while they swam in a pom pom lake.
This went on for a bit. In an attempt to bring back sanity, I built on Jamie’s (from hands on:as we grow) idea of blowing through straws race. Check out her blog for many gross motor play ideas.
To spice it up and to keep the kids happier and busy for a much longer duration I introduced a new element to our play. Foam blocks.
The kids and I built many individual foam buildings, castles and houses using foam blocks. Once they were done, I arranged them in three separate straight lines resembling three race tracks. Then I had three different sized pom pom balls to be blown through the holes of the foam blocks to the end with a straw. The last red one was a test ball – it clearly does not fit through the holes. Mean?
I should mention that we played the game with a 5-year-old friend.
Big A and her friend started off zealously blowing the pom poms with just their mouths first laughing all the while at the tumbling blocks. They figured out soon enough that the straw controlled the air and started using the straw to prevent further block tumbling. The older friend clearly had better control and patience to get the ball to the end of the foam blocks. For Big A and her sister, knocking the blocks down by blowing seemed more fun than following the “rules” of the game. That’s when I realized how much difference just a year makes. Our pre schooler and toddler invented their own version of the game while mommy had a completely different idea.
Nevertheless the game was fun for all the three.
My girls pretended to be the big bad wolf and the foam blocks apparently are the piggies’ houses.
Going way off on a tangent or great imagination?
Additional fun idea with pom pom ballsDemonstrate two scenarios
- Blow air on the pom pom directly.
- Blow air through the straw
Based on the age of the child, you can use all, few or none of the questions.
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