Your toddler will love this creative poking bin!
Open ended activities are some of the greatest activities for toddlers. Activities like this poking bin allow toddlers a chance to grow, imagine and create without any defined “rules”. Using recycled materials and old craft supplies, a poking bin is a fun way for toddlers to play (and build their fine motor skills).
Fine motor skills are the “small movements” we make as adults – think pulling up a zipper or undoing a button. Learning to manipulate objects with their hands is crucial to toddler development.
Build a simple poking bin at your house
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- Pool noodles (cut up)
- Small bowls
- Craft supplies that can “poke” (straws, pipe cleaners, golf tees, popsicle sticks, and clothes pins)
I set my supplies in a storage container to help keep all the loose parts fairly contained. I put each supply into a bowl and added the cut up pool noodles in with them.
My hope was that my son would poke items into the Styrofoam noodles to make little pool noodle people with arms and legs, faces, etc.
But he had different ideas and that’s fine – this bin was for him to create with.
My son worked tirelessly to connect and attach each pool noodle together in a long poking chain. It was a brilliant concept and one that he took very toddler seriously.
The only disappointment was the clothes pins – they didn’t work like I had hoped. I’m considering tooth picks next time instead.
What skills can you learn in a poking bin?
This may look like a simple “invitation to play” activity but it’s actually chock-full of learning:
- Fine motor skills
- Hand eye coordination
- Trial and error (figuring out what works)
- Problem solving (adjusting when things don’t work)
This poking bin was a great way to use up the extra pool noodles from summer time. My son worked tirelessly on this activity station for 20 minutes, and came back to it later in the day. That’s a solid return of investment on a project that only took me 3 minutes to set up.
Would your toddler like a poking bin?