Sunday, October 9, 2011

Makings of a Mobile


Threading is a great activity to develop hand-eye co-ordination as well as fine motor skills and, in this case, creativity and can be introduced as soon as your child has the requisite motor skills. This version is definitely, an activity for older tots though.
I was impressed at how well my daughter threaded these items together! I sat with her and did a strand myself, as I find my involvement, or at least my presence, always helps her stick to an activity for longer. She really enjoyed the different textures and choosing which pieces to use and she took it very seriously, her little face intense with concentration. She also enjoyed having her grandparents watch what she was doing, but they weren't allowed to touch! We are going to do a few strands, and then tie them to a hanger to create a mobile, which we'll hang above my baby daughter's change table.
All you need is to provide a safe needle (I offered two types, a blunt wool-needle and a piece of pipecleaner shaped like a needle - she chose the wool-needle), wool or yarn, and some threading materials. In my containers were:
  • large buttons with big holes
  • cheerios and nutrigrain (cereal)
  • penne pasta
  • mini patty pans with holes punched into them
  • colourful cardboard shapes, squares, circles, etc, with holes punched in them
  • bits of cut up lace
  • hair beads
  • paper clips
Next time (which will probably be tomorrow) I'll try and make some strips of paper into beads by rolling them around a pencil and glueing the end down. It adds another creative step to our threading. I'm also going to cut up some small-ish squares of thick cardboard (from nappy boxes) and punch holes in them. You could use this activity to create jewellery (swap the wool/yarn for some clothing elastic to create rings and bracelets), mobiles, streamers, and I'm sure a lot more things that I haven't thought of. 
One tip if you're going to try this activity: take one piece of the largest, sturdiest item (in our case, penne pasta) and tie the end of your thread around the item. It saves you from trying to create a giant knot to stop it all falling off the end. Have fun! ~ L.

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