Much like our Printable Play Credit Cards, the idea for this activity came to me while waiting at the doctor’s office. This time, Miss. B. and I were at urgent care on a Saturday morning. There is something about your child waking up with a full body rash on the Saturday of a long holiday weekend that will bring you back to Earth. Seriously. It adds a whole new dimension to our already carefully balanced routine. So, grandpa was called in to entertain R while B and I headed off to urgent care.
The wonderful people at Park Nicollet have a coffee station in the waiting area. It’s like, “Hey, you may be waiting for three hours. Have a cup of coffee on us.” Ok, so our wait wasn’t three hours, but the coffee station came in pretty handy. The twins are going through a cups, bowls, lids and spoons phase. Especially Miss. B. She loves a challenge. So, I grabbed an empty paper cup, lid, and wooden stir stick for her to play with. This girl was in heaven! She must have spent an hour securing the lid on the cup, placing the stir stick in the slot on the cup, undoing the whole thing, and repeating the process.
When we got home, I was still thinking about the little wooden stir stick that had so entertained Miss. B. Lightbulb! I went to Michaels and bought a package of popsicle sticks. These craft supply people think of everything. They even make popsicle sticks that come pre-dyed. Score! This saved me some serious time spent hovering over popsicle sticks while enjoying the fumes of my favorite permanent markers.
Then I headed to the pantry for a suitable container. Enter: the Crystal Light containers. They are the perfect height for popsicle sticks. I (very carefully) used an x-acto knife to cut a slit in the lid of the Crystal Light container. And voila! For a couple of bucks I had a great fine motor activity for the kiddos!
I would like to now take this opportunity to highlight the differences between my two children.
Miss. B’s reaction to this activity: She methodically placed the popsicle sticks through the lid of the Crystal Light container. When she had finished with all of her popsicle sticks, she brought the container to me. She would patiently wait for me to empty the container and replace the lid. This process repeated over and over.
Sir. R’s reaction: He took the Miss. B. approach EXACTLY ONCE, but instead of waiting for my help with the lid, he got very frustrated. He then skipped the lid entirely, and placed the popsicle sticks directly into the container. Hey, why not? Let’s take the path of least resistance from point A to point B.
Side note: You do not need to have a Crystal Light container to do this activity. Any bottle with a wide opening will work. We happened to have an empty bubbles bottle lying around. The twins love putting the popsicle sticks into the bottle and then screwing the lid on. They have a bit of trouble unscrewing the lid, so I help with that. I imagine you could do this with a Gatorade bottle too.