Set up a cool cotton ball transfer challenge, just like Brigitte, for active inside fine motor play!
Painter’s tape is something I always have stocked at home since it can be used in so many different activities and projects.
Cotton balls and clothespins are also readily available 100% of the time. We tend to use them for a lot of projects, like painting and crafts.
Make this easy cotton ball craft with your kids!
I also love a challenge! So I combined all three: cotton balls, clothespins, and painter’s tape.
Fine Motor Cotton Ball Transfer Challenge for Kids
To set up your own cotton ball transfer challenge, you’ll need:
- Cotton balls
- Painter’s tape
- Container (optional)
Inspiration struck me randomly, so I just started setting up the activity. Honestly, I kind of made this one up as we went.
But sometimes that makes for the best activities!
First, I pulled the painter’s tape out and started making lines on the floor leading from my kitchen to my living room. At the end of each of the lines, I taped out a shape.
By this point, my kids were getting curious. What were we going to do?
My daughters thought the lines and shapes looked like an Aztec or Mayan design. I love that they made that connection!
I still hadn’t quite decided exactly what I was going to have them do once I finished the lines.
I attempted to create circles using the tape, but that didn’t work too well. So, I created only shapes with edges, which gave me the idea to count the number of edges of each of the shapes.
I invited my daughters to help me name the shapes and count the sides.
As we counted them out, I wrote the numbers on each of the shape’s edges. We discovered:
- Squares, rectangles, and diamonds all have 4 edges
- Pentagons have 5 edges
- Triangles have three
I stuck to these shapes, but you could totally add any shapes you’d prefer. This is great shape practice!
Turn Lines into a Cotton Ball Transfer Challenge
With the lines done, I set a pile of cotton balls and different colored clothespins on a paper plate where the original tape line began.
Then I explained the rules:
- Use a clothespin to pick up cotton balls
- Walk on the line to each shape
- Drop cotton balls into the shape, matching the number of cotton balls to the number of sides of the shape
- Walk back to the cotton ball plate and repeat until all the shapes have cotton balls
As they chose a clothespin, I had them tell me the clothespin’s color. This is a great reinforcement of color names!
I didn’t need to do this since my daughters have known their colors for years. But we did it anyway, just because.
Using the clothespins to grab the cotton balls is also great fine motor practice while walking on the lines practices gross motor skills.
Let Your Kids Take the Lead!
My kids adjusted their strategies as they kept playing.
They were able to pick up multiple cotton balls at one time so they didn’t have to make as many trips back and forth.
When all of the shapes were filled with the correct number of cotton balls, I added an extra challenge. They now needed to return all of the cotton balls to the plate.
We ended up using the clothespins to pick them up. Although I did consider having them use a spoon to scoop them up and return to the plate.
I was thinking this activity could also be used as an addition lesson. “If you add the six cotton balls from the hexagon shape to the four cotton balls from the square shape, how many total cotton balls would you have?“
Our tape lines ended up remaining on the floor for a few days. I caught my daughters using a ruler to measure each of the sides of the shapes to determine which shape had the longest amount of tape.
Love that they just did this – all on their own!
When it was time to remove the tape from the floor, I let the kids peel the tape.