Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Peace and Quiet is Not Just a Pipe Dream

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pipe cleaners and an old grated Parmesan Cheese jar- so simple!

Katy putting her new activity to use!

Pipe cleaners and an old grated Parmesan Cheese jar. Who knew?! 

Who knew that these two very simple, very inexpensive materials would buy me five, ten, fifteen, TWENTY minutes of peace and quiet? Enough time to check emails, blog AND check Facebook? Yet, that is exactly what they did.

I'd seen tons of "tutorials" and mommy blogs out there touting a similar concept- the wonders of pipe cleaners and a Pringles can with holes cut out of the top. "They" say that it enhances small motor skills in children and causes them to think about color, texture, etc. It seemed too simple, too unrefined, too basic to be interesting, education and engaging. And yet....!! 

A couple of weeks ago, you might remember that I hosted a busy bag swap with my MOMs group. One of the busy bags involved said activity- canister with pipe cleaners- and Katy loved it! But then the lid broke...

...and then, one night, we finished our BJ's-sized canister of grated Parmesan Cheese (Boy, that thing took forever to finish!). Shaker lid with pre-cut holes- a light bulb went off in my head. I washed out the container and lid, took off the label and bought some new pipe cleaners from the dollar store. *TA DA!* a new, sturdier busy bag activity was born! 

Katy loves her new toy! What does one do with this newfangled gadget, you might ask? Well, simply put, Katy stuffs the pipe cleaners in the pre-cut holes. Then, she unscrews the lid and does it all over again. Sounds too simple to be fun, huh? Well, don't ask me- she loves it and I'm not knocking the extra few minute it allows me to get things done!!

**To make this activity more "educational" I could (and probably will) cover each hole with a different colored hole reinforcer. Then, Katy would match up the correct colored pipe cleaner to the matching colored hole.
***Also, I like to assign tasks when Katy plays with this activity. For example, I'll tell her, "Katy, please pick out only the RED pipe cleaners in the jar," or, "Katy please put THREE YELLOW pipe cleaners in the jar." On and on- you get the idea.
****As an added bonus, the canister is clear (once the label is removed) and Katy can see the pipe cleaners when they are in the jar. 
*****I love that this activity is self-contained- when you are ready to clean up, just stuff all the pipe cleaners in the jar, screw on the lid and you are cleaned up in a jiffy!


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