Friday, 30 March 2012

Fine Motor Fun with Water Beads (Guest Post from Rainy Day Mum)

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Today I'm pleased to introduce Cerys of Rainy Day Mum. Cerys and I share a  passion for outdoor play and childhood exploration so I love her blog about play inspiration and learning opportunities with her two kids. She co-hosts Tuesday Tots a weekly link up of baby and toddler play ideas (ps check out those playdough hard boiled eggs too!) and has just started a new feature I am super excited about Growing Green Fingered Kids. Check out Rainy Day Mum on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


We've recently discovered Water Beads, these amazing little growing seeds to form large gell like balls which are just addictive to play with - yes you can't keep your hands out of them once they have grown.

Water Bead Play

Over on Rainy Day Mum we've been playing with them for a little while and last week we grew some more and added them to our existing collection and into a large tupperware tub. J who is 2 and a half loves to transfer things to different containers and then pour them back in, but it's been a challenge to get him to use something different than his fingers.

developing pincer grip using water beads including applying different pressures

To help develop hand eye co-ordination and fine motor skills I provided him with an assortment of different tools to use, a mini bottle, a formula scoop, some tongs, a spoon and a muffin case. Using the different tools he worked out which was best for him and the water beads. The tongs were difficult and most beads splattered which he didn't like as that meant 1 less bean. The bottle was good but he didn't see it as a challenge and it was too easy to collect the beads in the bottle and then pour them out. The spoon he managed to get 1 bead on once and then couldn't do it again so the spoon got thrown on the floor.

Using tools to develop hand eye co-ordination and muscle control using water beads

The most successful tool was the formula scoop - it was deep enough so that a couple of beads could fit in but he had the challenge of scooping the beads and then transfering them which involved manipulating his hand and changing it's direction I sat next to him and was asigned the job of "the go get the beads mummy" and add them back to the box.


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