Sometimes I struggle trying to figure out what to bring on outings as “busy” activities because packaging is flimsy, parts get lost, lids fall off, water is required, and nothing ever seems to fit back in the packaging as nicely as it came out. It’s also nice when these activities serve double duty and can be used at home when cooking dinner or trying to take a shower in peace for example. This is a great “busy kids” activity as it’s repetitive and simple. It could also make a great addition to a re-centering kit as I described in my guest post for Edmomton. I recently transformed an old Christmas gift box/bag for wine and it has been an awesome go-to! With the sturdy handle, this travels easily from room to room with the kids and could easily be taken anywhere we visit outside the home as everything can also be stored inside. Keep reading to see how you can easily make your own as well!
- Fine motor skills- precision and control is required to fit the sticks into the small holes.
- Color identification
- Wine gift box with handle (like a gift bag, but made of hard cardboard)
- Duck tape or Washi tape
- Sticks to drop in holes (stir sticks work well, mine are leftover from a baby shower and I got them at party city in a huge package)
- Drill for making holes
- Drill holes. Take wine box and drill holes in top and sides. *Sides are optional but I placed them there for added difficulty of activity. It’s hard to match up the stick to a hole across the box without being able to see where it’s going!!!
- Empty dust from container. Open lid and empty out any dust created from drilling holes into the garbage or recycle. There was quite a bit in mine and I forgot about it. It made a big mess all over the table when I turned the container upside down.
- Decorate. Wrap container in Duck Tape, Washi tape, or decorate as you wish. I couldn’t resist the Gummy Bears Duck Tape! With the Duck tape, I taped row by row from the bottom to the top of the box. I allowed room for the string handle once reaching the top and didn’t tape the lid to the rest of the box. I didn’t worry about the drilled holes in the sides for this step and taped right over them. For the lid, I cut little pieces and fit them together like a puzzle around the drilled holes.
- Find drilled holes along the sides. Using scissors, pierce through the tape where drilled holes are along the sides. I then followed this with pushing the stir sticks through each hole to ensure that they fit.
- Close lid.
- Play! Offer a large selection of stir sticks and watch the Fine Motor Skills Stick Drop happen! The fun lasts for a long time and little parent intervention is needed as the lid is easily removable for the toddler/preschool age and they can also dump sticks out on their own.
For Travel: You can also store the sticks inside the tube and take it with you where ever you need. The lid stays on tight, the handle is great for carrying, and the sticks stay inside leaving no mess! Something like Duck Tape on the outside will help make the tube more durable for travel. If you choose to decorate with small pieces, they may fall off in transit.
Happy creating and playing!