Sunday, 29 July 2012

Homemade Toy: Using Tongs

After an extended hiatus, due to an unfortunate meeting between my laptop and a cup of tea, I'm back! I have a beautiful new iMac to blog from and I am head over heels in love.

We're all about cheap and cheerful toys in this household. We don't have the space or inclination to buy a whole bunch of stuff. We strongly dislike plastic & battery operated toys and a lot of wooden toys are just out of our price range. So I focus on making toys when and where possible.

This is one of the simplest "toys" I have made. All you need is a tray, a basket, some pom-poms and a pair of tongs. I set the invitation up with the pom-poms in the basket and the tongs alongside. Felix empties the pom-poms onto the tray and then uses the tongs to pick them up and pop them back into the basket.

Examining the tongs and figuring out the best way to hold them

Getting better control of opening and closing the tongs

Noticing all the clicks of the camera shutter

Obviously the camera is hilarious and I'm very distracting

Moved the basket off the tray to pick up errant pom-poms.
He's reaching pro status now, picking up two pom-poms at once.

Placing the basket back on the tray.

Placing the tongs back on the tray

All tidied away, now he's coming for the camera!

We first tried this activity a few months ago. Felix couldn't quite get the hang of the tongs, though he did try. I think his hands were just a little small! I packed it away and forgot about it for a while. At 24 months, after a minute or two of experimenting, he easily got the hang of it. He really enjoyed it and has repeated this activity a few times since.

I'm planning to put this into our regular rotation of toys but I'll switch out the pom-poms next time for a bit of difference. I'm planning to try coloured ice cubes for a different texture, and as Felix gets better we'll progress to smaller items like pasta shapes or broad beans. Eventually we can use a smaller tongs and then a tweezers.

I'd love to hear if you try this activity. Was it a hit? What other objects do you use?

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