5 ways with pom-poms
Pom-poms are a great tool for promoting all kinds of development. Here are 5 activities you can do with a muffin tray, a small jar or cup, a pair of tweezers or tongs and a load of pom-poms.
Pick them up and drop them. This simple activity for younger children promotes the pincer grip, which is vital for holding a pencil later on. Picking up and dropping the pom-poms promotes hand eye coordination and provides a sensory experience too.
Sort the pom-poms acording to colour. Not only is this promoting fine motor development and hand-eye coordination but it’s also working on matching and colour recognition.
Extend the activity by using tweezers. If you put the pom-poms into a narrow necked jar they won’t be able to get their hand in their to pick the pom-poms up so they’ll need to use tongs or tweezers. The pinching motions strengthens the muscles in the hand and the added challenge will develop problem solving abilities.
Count. It sounds simple but you have a lot of pom-poms so you can at least count to twenty with all of them, count how many of different colours, work on concepts such as more and fewer, and add up by transferring pom-poms from one part of the tray to another. It’s ideal for explaining tens and units if you have different sized pom-poms. The smaller ones are units and when you put the tenth smaller one in you can exchange 10 small pom-poms for a bigger one. Top tip from a primary maths specialist – always start to count from zero. The quantity ‘one’ doesn’t make sense unless there is nothing there in the first place so make it obvious and associate zero with nothing from the start.
Blow them. Pom-poms are light and they roll so get down and blow them in a straight line or round a course you’ve drawn out on paper. As well as encouraging children to fill their lungs this also develops the muscles of the face and jaw which is great for speech development.