Are you looking for a simple fine motor activity to add to your play-based environment? This early years activity includes feathers and beads. If you don’t have feathers – don’t worry, we’ve used sticks, twigs, grass straws, pipe cleaners, lace, and other materials – maybe you’ve already gotten ideas of what you can substitute. Also, remember the recycled items you already have on hand.
I’ve had these rings for years; I purchased them on eBay. I know there are educators like me who love shopping on eBay and Etsy. (I think eBay is excellent for books and Etsy for handmade items). The wooden bowl is from a thrift shop (thrift stores are fantastic).
I placed the items on a table, and as the children came in, they gravitated to the area, and the activity came alive. This activity was done in early spring; at the time, we had many birds, including nests and babies, in our yard.
Children can get overwhelmed with activities – so at times, the play invitation is straightforward. I have been learning how to arrange more items for exploration – at the time of this play, it was pretty simple for our toddlers.
If you’ve been following me for some time, you know I love to engage children in fine motor activities. I think I’ve observed how much it was needed for my son’s penmanship – he didn’t like writing, and at the time, I didn’t understand the value of fine motor activities and his finger grip, which helps writing. I have studied, researched, and read many books which point to the benefits of fine motor activities as a tool for prewriting skills. Also, in Kindergarten, he had hand therapy – which included many fine motor activities- pinching, picking up cheerios, using small crayons, and he had to use tweezers too.
You can see how these small beads and rings help children’s finger placement and strengthen their muscles.
In this picture, there is a small white stand you get in your restaurant pizza – this is the perfect recycled item for these rings and beads.
Remember ages and stages – if you have children prone to eat the toys or putting them in their mouths, please be aware of the choking hazard. I supervise activities with the little ones. I also teach them to eat food, not their toys. For sensory children who love to chew on items, you may want to avoid using small objects completely – it’s better to be safe.
Let me know what other items you recycle for this kind of play.
We’ve thread leaves too.
Lots of love, and have fun playing with the children in your Home, Early Years / Play-Based Environment – Suzette Salmon aka Miss Sue – until we connect again.