Sweet Pea is 42 months old.
- Styrofoam block. (We got ours from Micheal’s.)
- Golf tees.
- Marbles. (For some reason, I had difficulty finding marbles. I ended up buying them from the really fun Moon Marble Company.)
- Washable marker (optional).
- Show your tot how to use the marker to make a dot on the Styrofoam block.
- Allow him or her to make about 10 dots on the Styrofoam.
- Demonstrate picking up a golf tee, carefully lining it up with one of the dots and then pushing it into the Styrofoam.
- Let your tot push the rest of the tees into the Styrofoam.
- Once all of the golf tees are arranged, show your tot how to pick up a marble and very slowly balance it on one of the golf tees.
- Encourage your tot to put a marble on each of the rest of the tees.
Observations: This activity was the perfect challenge for Sweet Pea. I didn’t realize it, but the activity gets harder and harder as the golf tees get filled with marbles. Toward the end, every time she would put a marble on a tee, she would knock one (or five) other ones off of their tees.
This activity was excellent. It was easy to set up and really held Sweet Pea’s interest. Despite knocking over the marbles many times, she worked diligently until she got all of them balanced on the golf tees. I highly recommend this activity for older tots.
I can see how this could also be turned into a good game. Each player starts with 5 marbles and then players take turns trying to balance a marble. Any marble that gets knocked off of a tee is returned to the player who knocked it off and the player who runs out of marbles first wins.
This activity could be made even more challenging by requiring your tot to use tongs to place the marbles. It could also be turned into a quick sorting activity with some extra pieces of Styrofoam.
Notes from the Trenches: Sweet Pea had a hard time pushing the golf tees into the Styrofoam. I had to redo a couple of them so that they were straight enough to hold a marble. For a tot that is any younger, I would recommend just setting up the golf tees ahead of time.
Obviously the marbles are a choking hazard and the golf tees are sharp.
Rating: 3 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent)
Carnivals: This post is linked to One Hook Wonder’s Montessori Monday. Visit her site to see some other great Montessori ideas.