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Toddler Activity: Fine Motor Skill Practice With Straws

June 30, 2012




I came up with this activity yesterday for Simon as a way for him to practice some fine motor skills. Using recycled materials, he was able to play creatively, and this activity kept his attention for quite a long time.

I poked some small holes into a paper towel tube (very carefully!), and into a couple of paper cups left over from Simon’s birthday party. I grabbed a handful of colorful bendy straws, (I have a guilty pleasure of buying straws for my homemade iced coffee.) and showed him how he could stick the straws into the holes. He thought this was a fantastic idea!




As you can probably tell from his facial expressions, he takes his play very seriously.

I saved the materials in a container, and later the same day, as well as the next morning, he requested to use them again. This fine motor skill activity was a total toddler pleaser.

This post has been linked up over at Quirky Momma-Kids Activities blog.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. lisasff permalink
    June 30, 2012 9:22 pm

    I’ll need to remember this for Ash. I’ve been stocking up on paper towel and toilet paper tubes…

    • June 30, 2012 10:15 pm

      I always save ours. we have used them for dipping in paint and stamping circled too. I should blog about that sometime.

  2. July 1, 2012 8:35 am

    I love that impartial expression on the cat.

    • July 1, 2012 9:02 am

      Actually, she was plotting how to get a straw for herself. She kept jumping in and chewing on them.

  3. Ann permalink
    July 2, 2012 1:43 pm

    Great idea! I must have straws too : )

  4. July 5, 2012 3:40 pm

    Love this idea, and so so easy!
    Thanks for stopping by CraftingPlay!!

    • July 5, 2012 4:32 pm

      I love finding second uses for things that are just around the house. No money spent!

  5. July 6, 2012 12:02 am

    I did something similar for my daughter but I used an empty plastic cheese shaker (like for Parmesan). I cut the straws to different lengths to make it more interesting for her. The larger side made it easy to dump them out and start again (her favorite part)! She had some fine motor development issues (ie: she could count to 10 before she was a year old but couldn’t put a straw in a large hole!) and that’s the main reason we used something with bigger holes at first. Also, if we put all the straws inside, it could travel to grandma’s with us!!!

    • July 6, 2012 9:02 am

      We also did something similar by poking holes in the plastic lid of a Gerber snack container. I color coded the holes stickers so my son could match the straw color with the hole color (when he wanted to). I love the idea of the cheese shaker. My son’s daycare has the kids put baby food jar lids in the big opening of the shaker…the kids love the clanking sound that it makes. :)

  6. July 6, 2012 1:41 am

    You cat is well trained:)

    • July 6, 2012 8:21 pm

      Hahaha…you would think that from this photo, but she actually tried to bite the straws the whole time. I kept having to shoo her away because it was making Simon nervous.

  7. July 6, 2012 9:11 am

    Great ideas. Thanks for sharing. My toddler would really like those!

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