It’s really ironic that I’m working on this blog post of an activity I did with the boys over the weekend. I was dinking around on the internet while I was waiting for the pictures to upload and what did I see on Pinterest? This EXACT activity from another poster. To be fair, I originally saw this idea six or so months ago from another source but how weird that by the time I get around to doing this with Graham and Miles it’s back in vogue on the Mommy boards. The pin I saw even used the SAME play doh color we used. So weird!
Okay, you can see a picture and know what to do but here’s the skinny. You stick raw spaghetti noodles into play doh and let your toddler string cheerios on the sticks. It’s an excellent fine motor practice game, takes a bit of concentration and it’s an activity they wouldn’t run into on a normal basis. You can make it a challenge for older tots by having more sticks or longer pieces or make it easier by breaking the noodles so the stick isn’t as long (and not as challenging) to string.
So, after a regular round of play doh fun I got out the supplies to do this challenge, showed the boys what to do and let them have at it. I must say I was impressed they didn’t immediately eat all the Cheerios right up.
Miles, as expected, was really concentrated on getting those little Os to go on the sticks. He dumped out his cup of cereal to see how many he had left to string and commented that “there’s a lot!”
Stack, stack, stack, he worked diligently at getting them all lined up.
Graham, as expected, took a different route. As soon as the tip of one of the noodles snapped off he realized he could break the pieces up. He got a few cheerios on there but quickly found another game that was more interesting.
Just how many shards of spaghetti can he create? It was comical. The boys are so different and so predictable. If Graham spots a different outcome he’ll jump in with both feet whereas Miles wanted me to “fix” his spaghetti when one of them snapped in half.
The great thing I observed was that Graham wasn’t just destroying his task, he was actually observing what he was creating. He’d say “ooooh” “It broked” “ooooh” “This one is small” and he kept everything on the table top, admiring his creation.
Instead of telling him he was doing it wrong or trying to redirect him to the original task I just let him have at it and made comments on what he was doing. “Oh Graham, look at how that piece is smaller than that piece.” “I wonder what will happen if you pick up that other long piece of noodle.”
I did have one “no go” though, NO touching brother’s project. He was working hard on it and I could just imagine Graham’s hands getting a hold of his master piece!