I am always searching for ideas that are easy and that keep my two-year old entertained for longer than one whole minute. I found this idea on Pinterest from Laughing Kids Learn. The author calls this activity “Pasta Threading.” It is great for the development of little one’s fine motor skills.
Fine motor skills generally refer to use of the small muscles like fingers, hands, and wrists. Development in fine motor skills help with tasks such as stacking blocks, zipping zippers, turning book pages, holding a pencil, handwriting, and using scissors. As a child develops, they gain more motor control and can perform more sophisticated motor tasks. As a parent and teacher, it is important to provide opportunities for your little ones to practice these skills.
I had everything in the house that was needed for this activity.
- Playdough (Store bought! It would have been nice for homemade playdough but that is a project for another time. )
- Rigatoni Pasta (Penne and Ziti would work great too!)
1.) I made a ball of playdough. 2.) I stuck straws in the playdough. 3.) My son placed the pasta on the straws. It was a easy as 1-2-3. This activity kept him entertained for enough time that I could unload and load the dishwasher AND prepare dinner in the crock pot. After a while, he just wanted to play with the playdough and that was fine because playdough is another great activity for developing fine motor skills.
TIP: When we do this activity again, I am going to have a larger area of play-dough available, more straws, different widths of straws, and different types of pasta. If I get really ambitious, I might use different colored pasta too! I think having some different options would have kept my son engaged for a longer period of time. (Maybe wishful thinking?) And we could work on some other skills like color recognition, compare and contrast, sorting and attributes.
You can find the original idea here: