This time-buyer came about as I stood in my kitchen with Anderson pulling at my hem wanting to be in the meal prep action. I grabbed the elastics from my veggies, stretching them around the center of my loaf pan. Dinner gracefully made it to the table that evening as he plucked away at the strings, experimenting with the different sounds each elastic made and exploring the sensation of the tension and release as they snapped into place.
I left the baby guitar laying about the house. Anderson actually took it upon himself to develop some extension activities (thus buying me even MORE time to get life done). He started exploring with pushing things through the elastics and listening to them clank to the bottom (great fine motor and sensory development. Well done, Anderson. Totally what you were going for right?). The then kicked his problem-solving into high gear as he learned how to navigate them back out through the elastic barriers.
I stepped it up a notch for him by trading his Melissa & Doug blocks for some Tegu Magnetic Blocks. The magnetic aspects change up the sensory experience and increase the fine motor challenge as they provide a little resistance by sticking to the tin.
When that became too easy, we threw some craft sticks into the mix to really have Anderson think thoughtfully about how to get them in and out.
This one very simple activity, made from materials lying about the house bought me immeasurable amounts of time. But beyond that, it also helped Anderson hone his fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities. The textures and tension of the elastics, as well as the sounds of the strings and objects rustling about also provided a tactile and auditory sensory element. Huge win.
- loaf pan
- objects for extension activities (magnets, blocks, craft sticks, pom poms etc.)
- stretch the elastics around the loaf pan
- allow the child to explore the sounds and feeling of plucks the elastics
- extention: give the child different materials to drop in and pull out of the pan.