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Gem Balance on a Popsicle Stick

Sweet Pea is 37 months old.

From: I found this quick little activity on ABC and 123 and The Shafer Family.


  • Popsicle or craft sticks.
  • Flat glass gems (We found ours in the floral section at Micheal’s)
  • Bowl (to hold the gems).
  • Tray (optional).


  • Put the gems in the bowl and place everything on a table near your tot.
  • Place a Popsicle stick on the table and then select a gem out of the bowl.
  • Carefully balance the gem on the Popsicle stick.
  • Invite your tot to try.

Observations: This did not go over well.  To start with Sweet Pea would only use the blue gems.

She quickly balanced most of them and then she was done.  I couldn’t get her to use more colors and I couldn’t get her to redo the blue ones.

Other bloggers have mentioned that this activity was a good challenge for their tots and really held their interest.  I don’t think it was too hard for Sweet Pea, but she didn’t enjoy it.  Sweet Pea soon abandoned the gems entirely and started making letters out of the Popsicle sticks.   I just went with it.  I helped her build several straight line letters before she was tired of that too.

Balancing the gems seems like it would be a great activity and it was very easy to set up, so I would tentatively recommend it.  We will probably try it again with some modifications.  I think it would work better if I put some star stickers on the craft sticks and told her to use the gems to cover them up.

Notes from the Trenches: My original idea was to use a package of colored craft sticks I bought from Micheal’s.  I was going to have Sweet Pea match the colored gems to the correspondingly colored craft stick as she balanced them.   However, the dye from the craft sticks (I think they were from Micheal’s.) bled all over my hands as I was putting them on the tray.  Just touching the blue sticks caused the dye to rub off onto my fingers, so I only let Sweet Pea use the yellow sticks which seemed to be the best of the bunch.  In any case, I ended up throwing all of the colored ones away.  I wish I would have just used plain ones.

Rating: 2 Stars * (Easy, Independent)

Carnivals: This post is linked at One Hook Wonder’s weekly Montessori Monday and Mommy Moment’s  Montessori Moment.  Take a look at those sites for other great Montessori ideas.

5 comments to Gem Balance on a Popsicle Stick

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