I'm going to call this one what it really is...sticks in a jar. Nothing fancy about this mis amigos, just some sticks in a jar that equal focused work time for your littles.
For the most part, the majority of our days are spent outside. We go on nature walks, eat snacks in our yard while birdwatching, read on a blanket under a big beautiful tree- this whole global pandemic has really done wonders for our nature time. Even still, sometimes my kids just want to be inside and have a quiet home day. Time to relax on the couch, read books and have some independent work time. Those are also the days when they are desperate for a new activity they are able to explore on their own.
On this particular afternoon, I could tell my littles needed some work the other day, they seemed restless and all over the place. I looked and saw a little baking soda container I had stashed away a few weeks ago with this activity in mind, poked a few holes in the lid while I sent the girls to go outside and look for some sticks. I only had one baking soda container and two children- do you see the issue? So I scrambled and found an empty spice jar without realizing what a PERFECT activity it was- even better than the baking soda container!
Spice jars have small holes for them to practice threading the little sticks into and then one bigger side for them to practice opening and emptying the jars. I just went ahead and emptied another spice jar- cut some sticks into shorter lengths and let them explore the work on their own. They were quietly working for at least 30 minutes and it was amazing watching them figuring out the process all on their own. This is a great activity to have on hand whenever your little ones need some focused work time and is so easy to set up! I've seen people use toothpicks too instead of sticks but I love the nature time that you can have looking for sticks outside.
Have you ever done this activity before? Am I late to the game on this whole spice jar idea?! What other pantry staples can be transformed into fine motor activities for our little ones?
Spanish words to practice:
Palo (pah-loh) - stick
Tarro de Especia (tah-rroh deh ehs-peh-syah)- spice jar
Poner (poh-nehr) to put
Vaciar (bah-syahr)- to empty