What you need:
- Tongue depressors.
- Paint mixing sticks.
- Dowel rods.
- Ping pong balls.
- Tennis balls.
- Pool noodle pieces.
- Pick a set of sticks to use first.
- Try to pick up as many balls and place them in the bucket using only your two tools.
- Try picking up the different sets of balls and compare.
- Keep testing to see what works and what does not work as well.
Ways to Expand the Activity:
- Use two different sticks. What happens when you pair a tongue depressor with a dowel rod? Is that easier or more difficult?
- Add some distance between you and the bucket. Can you still carry the ball easily with your stick tools?
What Kids Learn:
- Hand eye coordination. Young children can use activities like this to help improve communication between their minds and bodies.
- Interactions between materials. What happens when you try to pick up a ball that has a smoother surface?
- Experimentation! When kids experiment, they're learning how to learn. Failure is an important part of experimenting, so let kids try things that won’t work. It’s how they figure things out!
- Spatial or visual thinking. Being able to imagine the positions of objects and how they interact is an important skill for learning math.