I have a thing for simple activities. My favorites involve very few materials with very few directions (and are usually spur of the moment ideas!). This snowball drop fine motor activity is a great example of a simple activity that my preschoolers are going to LOVE. It’s full of super simple materials that you probably have laying around the house or classroom, and can be set up in just minutes!
Affiliate links included in this post.
Snowball Drop Fine Motor Busy Bag
Building fine motor skills is one of our main goals in my preschool classroom throughout the year. My 3 and 4 year-olds need to strengthen those fine motor (think fingers, hands, and wrists) muscles to help develop correct pencil grip and handwriting abilities in the future. It’s a goood thing that there are SO MANY different and fun ways to build fine motor skills!
(Oh and ignore the fact that my preschooler has flip flops on during this winter activity!)
For this snowball activity, you will need:
- cotton balls
- empty container (we used a large wipes container)
- kid-friendly tweezers, chopsticks, or tongs
Pull all of the cotton balls apart and squish them back together to be balls if needed. When you first pull out handfuls of cotton balls out of the package, they tend to stick together and unravel.
To play, scatter that cotton ball snowballs around your play area! In my classroom, the snowballs will be all over a table, but at home, we played outside on the patio.
The object of the game is to collect all of the snowballs in the container.
Using the tweezers to pick up the snowballs, helps strengthen fine motor muscles with each squeeze or pinch and release. Most preschool-aged kids will hold the tweezers with a similar grip to how they will pinch a pencil.
Work on counting too! Drop and count, drop and count, drop and count. Work on this skill with your little learner if she is not confident with 1:1 correspondence quite yet. You can also work on preschool addition and subtraction skills.
“There are 2 snowballs in the container. How many snowballs will there be if you add one more?”
“There are 5 snowballs in the container. How many snowballs will be left if you take out 3?”
To make the winter activity a little more realistic, and to make it a little harder to collect the snowballs, we added mittens! Mittens made it more difficult to hold the tongs and chopsticks, but not too difficult that they added frustration to the activity.
If you have a little one who is frustrated by the mittens, just take them off! Pinching the snowballs one by one with fingers is a great fine motor workout too! And it’s a perfect way for toddlers to play this snowball drop game.
Winter temperatures are everywhere (even here in the south!). Fill your winter with other hands-on learning activities!