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Fine Motor Friday: Wool Pompoms

Andrea Sanchez

A new feature! A few Fridays a month we will feature easy, fine-motor activities to help young children build the hand strength they need to write, turn the pages in their books, feed themselves, and perform regular self-care tasks such as buttoning, zipping, and even combing their hair. 

D is very much rocking the holiday spirit over here. Normally it's just me, but this year he is full force. We have decorated every inch of our house and he feels likes it's not enough. I am not interested in spending all of our hard earned money on holiday decorations this winter but when I saw these wool pompoms on sale at Wool Felt by Benzie I was couldn't resist. 

For a while now I've been thinking of purchasing some wool felt pompoms for crafting but I didn't want just a bag full of different colors (which is what I've come across at various wool festivals). From Benzie I chose white only (almost did red, white, and green but then realized, uh hello. I have a toddler who could care less about patterning right now) and because I'm super lazy ordered the kit version. This comes with an embroidery needle and a silvery white embroidery floss (yes I have a needle. No, I didn't have any white embroidery floss). 

Once we were ready to start I dumped all the balls into a tray. I showed D how to poke them with the needle until the tip came out the other. Yes, we did talk a bit about how the needle was sharp and would hurt if you aren't careful. Yes, he did poke himself once or twice, but amazingly enough, he got the idea. He'd poke, then push the pompom down the needle and pull it down the embroidery floss. It was a bit of a process and our kit came with 100 pompoms but we managed about half the first afternoon! 

Also, for those of you with the needle fear (I had it too!), I'd like to point out I have a friend who is a preschool teacher who lets her students use real mini hammers and screw drivers at a sensory table as part of some unit. It scared the heck out of me the first time I saw it, but in the 3 years I've known her no one has been injured. Anyway...

My goal with this activity was just a fun way to incorporate some fine motor work into our home life. D has ok fine motor skills (they work on them a lot at preschool obviously) but at home isn't often interested in doing traditional fine motor work so I'm often on the lookout for fun and engaging fine-motor "games". He LOVED lacing these balls and cried when he realized they were all done. He's also very excited to use them to decorate different parts of the house each day (yesterday is was our decorative, potted tree. Today, the mantle). We will definitely be getting more wool pompoms in different colors but for now, we are moving on to the easier, less expensive version (cotton balls, a darning needle and some yarn) for the remainder of the winter. 

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