Welcome back to Fine Motor Fridays, a collaborative series that brings you new Fine Motor Activities every week! This week we are in the Thanksgiving mood so we have been playing some Fine Motor Games using Cranberries! Last week I was completely inspired by Sarah's Cranberry Fine Motor Activities post so we got some cranberries to play with. Bonus- we will totally be cleaning them and cooking them up when we are done!
So far my three year old and I have had so much fun playing with cranberries due to a couple of their unique characteristics! Years ago I saw an episode of Unwrapped about cranberries and remembered it when I saw Sarah's post. I thought it was so fun that a good cranberry will both bounce AND float! If you don't feel like watching a video about it, Oceanspray has some information about cranberries as well. I'm a little bit partial to Oceanspray because one year they set up a mini cranberry bog in front of the office building where I worked!
After playing with them for a little bit I really feel like cranberries are an excellent addition to our fine motor skills materials! The bouncing, floating and rolling all make for very wiggly, giggly activities!
Cranberry Tilt Puzzle
Remember those little handheld tilt puzzles from when you were a kid, where you had to get the ball bearing or marble to juuust the right spot? Well I thought it would be fun to do a DIY Tilt Puzzle using a cranberry and takeout lid. To start I took a round takeout container lid with various indentations and I colored the center circle red. Just like a real marble tilt puzzles, the goal is to get the cranberry into the center of the lid without touching the cranberry, you just tilt the lid to get it in there. The oblong shape and bouncing aspect make it pretty tricky, I have to say! If you had several of these lids I could see this being a funny game at a family Thanksgiving get together! I think this activity would really help someone who needs to work on bilateral hand coordination but try it yourself first to gauge if it is too challenging. Obviously a marble or other ball would also work, we just used a cranberry because well…tis the season!
Cranberry Flick Golf
Next I laid some easel paper on a large box we'd been coloring. Initially I was planning on just flicking the cranberries around and I thought it would help the berries roll better than on our tile floor, and make them easier to see as well. There was a bit of orange crayon colored on the paper already so that became our target. We played by setting the cranberry at the opposite end and flicking it to see who could get closest to the orange spot. We first tried to do it with just one flick but neither of us came too close after quite a bit of trying so then we started counting flicks and voila! Cranberry Flick Golf was born!
Since the cranberries bounce I thought it would be a fun game to try to bounce them into a bit of egg carton. It reminded me of Bozo Buckets…or Quarters if you were ever into that kind of game! My daughter has not quite got the hang of the bouncing but I am including it in case your kids DO get the hang of it! (Note we did not just give up right away, we did try our best and had fun with it, it just was not satisfying for her since she never got the cranberry into the egg carton!)
Seeing the video of the cranberries plopping up out of the water reminded me of that classic carnival game, whack-a-mole. Of course setting up a game where the kids intentionally are slapping things in the water IS going to get a little messy but if you are one of those people who embrace the mess, or at least in the instance of water, are willing to wipe up a bit, this is pretty fun! All you need is a large towel, a tub of water (I suppose you could actually do this during an actual bath, just make sure you know how many cranberries you put in!!) and some cranberries. We did not keep score of course but just took turns poking or slapping the cranberries down into the water. The poking was actually pretty mesmerizing! We both kept saying “BOOP!” every time we poked one down and since he is in a parrot type phase, little brother started saying “Boop!” in the other room. We brought him in to get in on the action, he had sooo much fun slapping and poking them in the water!
Cranberry Stair Toss
The video, coupled with my daughter's inability to throw the cranberries downward, made me want to find another fun way to play with bouncing cranberries. We headed out to our front stairs for what, I suppose, is more of a gross motor skills game, but it included some good ole' pincer grasp and hand control so I'm totally counting it! We took turns trying to toss the cranberry and get it to stay on the top step. Of course they are so bouncy that this did not really happen, but they did stop on the stairs a few times, so we kept track of who could get it to stop on the highest step. it was hilarious for both of us to toss and chase after those bouncy little berries! We giggled a lot and eventually it became just as much a game to see who could retrieve the cranberry as it was who could get it onto the higher step! Again, I could see cranberry tossing becoming a fun family game at Thanksgiving!
Now, between these games and the awesome Fine Motor activities from Sarah's post last week, I bet you are going to head right out and get some cranberries too, aren't you!? Happy Thanksgiving from Lalymom!
Fine Motor Fridays
Fine Motor Fridays is a collaborative series brought to you by a group of lovely bloggers where you can expect to find playful fine motor activities for kids every week! We started in October, so definitely check out previous Lalymom Fine Motor Activities and head to our Fine Motor Fridays Pinterest Board to see more from the participating bloggers! Here are this week's other posts:
Tissue Paper Cornucopia Craft from Stir the Wonder
Bean Chute & Marble Run from P is for Preschooler
Homemade Birthday Card from Little Bins for Little Hands
Tongs and Tweezer Training from Craftulate
Chalk Fire Game from School Time Snippets
Christmas Fine Motor Activities from Racheous
We hope to see you next Friday for more Fine Motor Fun! In the mean time I'd love to see you over on my facebook page! Come on by and drop me a line! What are your favorite fine motor skills activities?