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.
[box title=”Things we used” color=”#b33838″]
- Pom poms various sizes
- foam blocks
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 balls
[box title=”Critical questions during the activity” color=”#b33838″]
- What makes the pom pom ball move? If the answer is an excited “YOU”.
- What am I doing?
- What is coming out of my mouth?
[highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″]Demonstrate two scenarios [/highlight]
- Blow air on the pom pom directly.
- Blow air through the straw
[box title=”Learning De Jour” color=”#b33838″]
- Ask them about the differences.
- When does the pom pom move faster ? Direct blowing or through the straw
- Why does it move faster while blowing directly?
- Compare the pom pom ball sizes and the block openings.
Based on the age of the child, you can use all, few or none of the questions.
Thanks for reading
Please take a moment to comment
Hello Visitor, Thanks for stopping by our little space here. We encourage you to stick around and take a look at couple of our popular posts.
Follow us on Pinterest for more kids activities. If you love play based learning and enjoy doing activities with your kids, Pinterest truly is the place to be: For parents, educators and care-givers.
This looks fun! I have posted a link to your site from my science blog.
Looks like a fun game; kind of like miniature croquet without the mallet!
What a FUN activity!!
I am featuring this today at TGIF (http://www.livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com/2012/10/tgif-linky-party-53.html) Thanks for linking up! I hope to see you again today =-)
What a great game!! So much fun involved! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!
How fun! Looks like I just found our next rainy day activity. My kids will love this. Thanks for the great idea.
Yes this is a fun indoor game. The older the child, the better they are at following the rules. Even otherwise, they will still make their own version of the game fun.
This is awesome! Great idea. I’m so excited to try it with the boys!!
Thanks Jamie. While we do a lot of gross motor play, this is my first post. I always thought writing about active play is kind of tricky because everything happens so fast.