I use large red pom poms in the sensory tub for preschoolers to explore. They are a hit. I just add a number of red items I find in the classroom/home such as lego figures, play people, lego block, red crayon, small red blocks, smaller red pom poms, etc.
I take a bag of the large red pom poms with me to visit a wonderful toddler last weekend. The first thing he does is throw them in the air! Then he runs around gathering them up just and throws them in the air again. After awhile he tries kicking the pom poms with his feet.
He finds a small basket and puts the pom poms inside. Then he throws the pom poms in the air from inside the basket.
He eventually puts the pom poms in the basket one at a time and we count them together.
This looks like just a whole bunch of fun! However, there is some great learning happening.
- fine motor – picking up the pom poms
- grows motor – throwing the pom poms (great indoor activity on a “weather” day)
- numbers – counting the pom poms
- sensory – the texture and feel of the soft pom pom
- problem solving – where did the pom poms go? How to keep them together? How to get the one that fell under the couch? How to get the one that fell between the desk and chair?
- social skills – asking the other children to help gather, bring a pom pom over, and/or to take turns, saying “please” and “thank you”
- language – the word “pom pom” for this child, asking other children to cooperate, expressing joy verbally
- autonomy – he chooses how to play with the pom poms, he leads the activity, he is responsible to find and pick up the pom poms
- respect – eye contact, warm and calm voice from adult, cooperation and sharing
- cognitive – colors, shapes, counting, problem solving
My favorite part is the little voice saying “pom pom” as he plays.