My criteria for a successful activity mostly involves a ratio between set up time, to time played, where a 1:10 ratio is pretty much amazing....and that's what we had on this fine day. Last week we were home for many days in a row. Luckily, I had happened to pick up a bag of pompoms at the dollar store, and Little N found them under the stroller and brought them to me, asking for an activity. So we hopped on the computer and this is what we came up with.
1) Putting pom-poms through toilet paper rolls taped on the wall! He experimented with different sized containers and their positioning. Big hit in that it took 2 minutes to set up and kept him entertained for about 15.
2) Sorting by color into a muffin tin. Another hit. We then went over the names of the colors together. To collect them back into the bowl, I called out the colors and he would find the correct one.
3) Practice with chopsticks. Little N re-sorted them into the muffin tin by color, and then used the chopsticks to transfer and collect the pom-poms. This was nice for some fine motor practice and because he could do this on his own.
4) Putting through a hole into a container. This seemed like it was a little too easy and maybe he would get bored, but on the contrary, Little N actually loved it. This time when we were taking the pom-poms out of the container, we counted together.
5) Gluing onto paper. At first I just put a ton of glue on a piece of cardstock and left him to make his own design but he was not really into it. So instead, I drew a caterpillar for him with circles, and he much preferred having a designated area to glue them on. He actually asked for more drawings, so we went on to make a flower and an elephant!