To make this activity, I cut the base off three plastic bottles and lined them with some tape to make it safe for play. I kept the lids as part of the activity. Next, I put some pom poms, buttons and lolly sticks in a pot. Finally, I attached the bottle to E’s stair gate for play time! To attach the bottles, I poked two small holes in each bottle, threaded some string through and tied them to the gate.
E was very excited when she saw the activity set up for her. There were lots of ‘oooo’s’ and ‘What’s that?’
E got straight down to the pots and was smiling lots as she began taking the contents out.
She quickly noticed the bottles above her head – lots more ‘oooo’s’ and curiosity. She sat down and began ‘talking’ to Mummy about the items in the bowls. She stood up and started posting some into the bottles; she liked it when the dropped through. Then a larger pompom got stuck in the bottle neck and she also liked that and began piling the pompoms in, with lots of chatter as she did this.
She sat down and started looking at all the different pompoms and buttons, but (like last time) poked at them with the lollipop stick and then actually began batting the pompoms around the floor with the stick.
E went back to the bottle she had started to fill and realised that the part of the bottle I had cut off to make the bowl actually fit on top of the bottle and attempted to make it balance on top.
After a few attempts, she decided she wanted the pompoms and buttons that had gotten stuck back out of the bottle. E was on her tiptoes trying to reach for them with her arm (gross motor development) but she couldn’t reach. E realised that as she pulled at it the bottle, it was getting lower and so managed to get some out.
I unscrewed the wider necked bottle lid and she began saying ‘1,2,3 weeee’ as she put the items through and they flew out the bottom. For older children, screwing the lids on and off would be a great part of the game and more opportunity to develop their fine motor control!
E added a walking element to the game. She would pick items out of the bowls, one in each hand, and walk all the way to the opposite side of the room with them and then back again to post them through the bottles. She also got some buttons stuck to her feet as she trod on them and loved stomping her feet to get them off (more gross motor development).
She played with this game for over an hour and loved it. She only got distracted when daddy came home.
What did E learn?
- Fine and gross motor development
- Beginning to explore gravity
- sorting, matching and discovery
- Language development – talking and asking questions
- Problem solving (when items got stuck)