Especially in the winter months I like to have an " Invitation to Play" ready for the little ones when they come down in the morning. This is a simple activity - with everything they need to complete activity - laid out for them on a tray. Sometimes they'll walk right by it and not even notice it until later in the day while other times they'll dive right into the activity as soon as they spot it.
Sassy Sis spotted this activity right away and stayed with it for the better part of the morning. She even asked me to replenish it so she could play with it the next day as well.
What's on the tray?
1. Pipe Cleaners - I had bent some to look like hearts, but neither child was drawn to them.
2. Various pink, red, white and heart shaped pony beads.
What do you do?
The little ones will simply string the beads on to the pipe cleaner. I did show them how to bend the end of the pipe cleaner first so the beads wouldn't fall off. This is a GREAT activity for fine motor skills.
After the kids were done stringing the beads onto the pipe cleaner I helped them twist the two ends together.
Then, we just manipulated the pipe cleaner to resemble the shape of a heart.
That's it, easy-peasy - 99% child driven - with just a little help from Mama. Our pile of beaded hearts is growing, but here are some of our first attempts.