I love using pom poms with toddlers to make learning fun! They are inexpensive (dollar store or craft store) and there are so many simple ways to create activities with them. Check out our favorite pom pom activities for toddlers.
Pom Poms and Trays
The simple activity of putting the colored pom pom into an ice cube tray helps to develop the pincer grasp and hand-eye coordination, both important skills. It also practices one to one correspondence, one pom pom in each section of the tray. There are many options of trays you can use. From silicon themed ice cube molds or a muffin tin to circular egg trays and egg cartons, each of these adds a new twist to this toddler activity.
Putting one color of pom pom in the top row and a different color on the bottom row is a great way to introduce color sorting and color recognition.
Older toddlers may be ready to sort pom poms by color or by size. Adding tweezers or tongs to transfer the pom poms is one of our favorite fine motor activities.
Make it a dice game. Add one die and practice rolling and counting that number of pom poms into the ice cube tray. When the tray is full, you win!
Pom Pom Push
There are a lot of different ways to try this great activity. Push a pom pom into the well of a skinny ice cube tray (pictured at the top of the post). Squeezing them into the tray and pinching them to take them out is a great way to strengthen finger strength.
Take a plastic bottle and challenge your toddler to push the pom pom balls inside. This is a great fine motor skills activity. Shaking the bottle to get them out is a challenge all by itself.
Turn a wire basket upside down and push the colored pom-poms through the wire holes (pictured above). This makes it easy to push through a bunch of pom poms and gather them quickly to start again.
Make your own Pom Pom Push Box. Push the matching colored pom pom through the hole of this Christmas themed fun game. Then, open the box to get the pom poms out and try it again. The free printables are available to get you started with this fun activity.
Pom Pom Drop
I love this pom pom drop activity using paper tubes and egg cartons from Teach Me Mommy. Kids of all ages could spend hours engaged in pom pom play with this invitation. Everything you need to get started you already have around the house like toilet paper rolls and tape.
Pom Pom Sensory Bin
You can make a very simple sensory bin full of pom poms of different sizes, tongs, spoons, and containers. Children will get creative with that sensory bin and it can become so many things.
We made this Ice Cream Sensory Bin that included pom poms, larger pom poms were ice cream scoops and smaller ones were sprinkles. I added a bowl, tongs, and ice cream cones made out of cardstock. Even older kids enjoy pretending with this easy sensory bin.
Magnetic Pom Poms
Putting magnets on the back of each pom pom took a small amount of time, but was worth it! We used them on a magnetic vertical surface like the fire place or refrigerator. Working on a vertical surface is beneficial for toddlers. It strengthens their core and shoulder muscles. It helps with wrist rotation too.
We have also used magnetic pom poms on a cookie sheet. They work well with dot marker pages on top of the cookie sheet instead of using dot markers. Sometimes the magnets come off of the pom poms so toddlers should be supervised while using these.
Pom Pom Art
Put a piece of contact paper on a table or easel, sticky side up. Use masking tape around the border of it to secure the contact paper to the surface. Invite your toddler to stick pom poms in a creative way onto the sticky surface. You can add other items to your pom pom art such as tissue paper or pipe cleaners.
Pom Pom Craft
Our favorite pom pom craft for toddlers is to make your own caterpillar. I like this craft because they use their hands to squeeze the glue and their pincer grasp to place the pom poms onto the glue. Drawing dots on the page is an easy way to control where the glue ends up, but to be honest it doesn’t really matter if their caterpillar isn’t in a line. The experience of using the glue and pom poms is more valuable.
Instead of making a caterpillar on paper, you can use popsicle sticks. Put a craft stick down and encourage your child to squeeze the glue onto it. Then, line up the pom poms to make a caterpillar.
Make a colorful pom pom sensory bottle like they did at Pocket of Preschool. This one has a Valentine’s Day theme, but you can do a different color that is a different theme or don’t add a theme at all.
We made a pom pom sensory bottle that ended up being spices in our play kitchen. The play kitchen spices are a fun way to use pom poms or a sensory bottle. The kids had so much fun pretending and playing with these bottles.
Pom Pom Busy Bags
- Sort the pom poms by color (If you are just starting with colors, use construction paper that matches the pom poms and have your child put the pom poms on the matching paper.)
- Using the same color pom poms have your child sort them by size (in small, medium, and large piles or line them up in a row from smallest to largest).
- Work on counting by drawing numbers or dots on the front of a cup and have your child drop the corresponding number of pom poms in each cup.
So which one of these fun ideas will you try first with your stash of pom poms? Let me know how it goes!