I’m always looking for ideas for toddlers~ especially ones that help toddlers practice fine motor skills. So I created this fine motor activity, Marble Pop, for Theo to play.
It’s a very simple thing to make. All you need is an empty canister (from coffee or oatmeal) and some marbles. You simply cut a hole in the lid for your child to ‘pop’ the marbles through. Super easy!
Here’s how I made it: I took the lid off of the canister and cut an ‘x’ in the top. Then I trimmed off the sharp points formed from the cuts so we wouldn’t get poked fingers while playing.
It’s definitely not necessary to decorate the canister, but if you have time, why not make a simple art project out of it? I found an old paper bag from our recycle bin and cut out a rectangle from it. Then we stamped some stars with sponges and paint onto our paper. Once it dried, I taped it around the canister and trimmed off any extra paper that was hanging over the edge.
After I had taped on the paper and put the lid on the canister, the game was ready. I sat down with Theo and placed the canister in front of him with some marbles. (Remember: Marbles are small and can be choking hazards. Never leave your baby or toddler unattended with them! Although Theo is getting older, he still likes to put things in his mouth.)
I showed Theo how to ‘pop’ the marble through the hole by pushing it. After a few practice tries with me, he got the hang of it. He had so much fun doing this over and over and over and over!! We also practiced taking the lid off and dumping the marbles out to do the activity again.
Eventually, he began to discover other things to do with the canister once it had marbles inside. Shaking it is tons of fun! It’s like your own homemade instrument! We sang songs and did lots of shaking!
Theo also discovered it was fun to roll (and kick) the canister on its side on a hard floor. The weight of the marbles inside caused it to roll very differently than we expected.
Who knew one game of Marble Pop could turn into so much fun? Sometimes if you just sit back and watch your children play and explore, they come up with ideas you didn’t even think of!