Pipe Cleaner Activity to Keep Kids Busy

I know Henry’s fine motor skills have never been his strongest trait. So, I do sneak in some fun here and there that works his fingers, such as the Dandelion Hat and Colored Vinegar and Baking Soda Experiment.

But this activity was not intended for Henry at all.

I set out this colander and some pipe cleaners for George to explore.

I did have Tinkerlab’s Colander Sculpture and The Imagination Tree’s Pipe Cleaner Discovery Box in the back of my mind. But I completely intended for this activity to be about George exploring the pipe cleaners. Thinking that a pipe cleaner sculpture could be for another day.

pipe-cleaner-activity-setup

I received a free box of craft goodies from Craftprojectideas.com the other day and this Ultimate Fuzzy Kit was part of it. Basically a lot of pipe cleaners in various forms [regular ones, glittery shiny ones, and super fuzzy tiger-like ones] as well as pom poms and even some googly eyes.

George explored them a little bit at first. Mainly just feeling them out and swinging them around. A few went in his mouth here and there to check them out completely.
fine motor pipe cleaner activity

But that was the extent of it that morning.

Later at night, Henry found the stash of pipe cleaners! He thought it was cool that he could bend them into happy and sad faces. [Acting out each one as he made them.]
fine motor pipe cleaner activity

He struggled with making an angry face, he said he couldn’t. [Not sure what his intention was.]

Henry soon saw that he could stick the pipe cleaners into the colander and they’d stay put.

pushing-pipe-cleaner-activity

George did pop by to check out what big brother was up to.

fine motor pipe cleaner activity

George continued his exploration when he got a hold of one of the fuzzy pipe cleaners.
fine motor pipe cleaner activity

He liked how it felt on his neck. He kept wrapping it around and around.

Henry kept at his pipe cleaners. I was amazed at his concentration to stick those pipe cleaners in the holes.

pipe-cleaner-threading-activity

I had only set a few pipe cleaners out for George. Henry quickly used all of them up and asked for more. By the time he was done, he had used the entire bag of pipe cleaners!

He told me he was making a ‘decoration’. Later he told me it was for Grandpa, too.

pipe-cleaner-activity-decoration

Some accidental fine motor practice happened without me even trying. Shows how play should be the center of a child’s life and learning just happens around it.

Henry really wanted to fill every single hole of the colander. [I didn't have enough pipe cleaners for that though.]
fine motor pipe cleaner activity

The next day, Grandpa stopped by and Henry presented him with his ‘decoration’.

pipe-cleaner-activity-busy

Grandpa was thrilled. Henry really wanted him to take it home with him.

More Fine Motor Activities to do:

Henry is 3 years old.

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Comments

  1. Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas says

    wonderful! It's always nice when they take charge and explore and learn all on their own – feels so great to be part of watching their little minds going like that! :)

  2. maggy, red ted art says

    Oh bless them! Aren't they simply adorable when they are proud of their work?!?! Love the activity – definitely fabulously sensory – both in touch and sight. Love it!

    As always, thank you for joining in with Kids Get Crafty!
    Maggy

  3. Becky @ Rub Some Dirt On It says

    I love this and plan to use it this week when the rain makes its appearance! I'll be sure to link back to you :) I wish you would like this up at my blog hop tomorrow morning–http://rubsomedirtblog.com–and share those sweet faces!

  4. Kierna C says

    Jamie – I hope that when you look at this you realise you are providing Henry with quality experiences – much better than colouring in anyday!!

  5. says

    Thank you for posting this! In the midst of a crazy day and just trying to make dinner I remembered this acitivity and it gave me the peace I needed so I could make dinner. Linking to your post in my Thankful Thursday this week!

  6. Nannyto3 says

    I just did this with the 20 month I nanny and she loved it. She was able to put the pipe cleaner through the hole. I plan to bring this activity out on a regular basis. I love the idea of the different pipe cleaners.

  7. Amy says

    I love this! Kept my daughter who is 21 months old busy for almost an hour. Great rainy day or any day activity.

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