Surprise Ball

surpriseballA quick and easy activity to set up, great for fine motor skills and talking about colours and textures. If you don’t already have an Oball or something similar, you can often find them cheaply on amazon or in charity shops.

You will need:

  • Oball
  • Assortment of ribbons, pompoms, pieces of fabric and small toys

What to do:
1) Crumple a piece of fabric into a small ball, and poke it through one of the holes in the Oball.
2) Wind a short length of ribbon into a loose ball (not too long, so your toddler can’t get it caught around their neck) and poke it through the hole into the Oball.
3) Poke some small toys through the hole. Again, don’t use anything that could be a choking hazard.
4) Wool pompoms are quick to make, if you have some to hand, poke those into the Oball too.
5) Try and use a variety of textures of ribbon and fabric.
6) Pack enough in so that the Oball is well-packed, and a few ends are sticking out. Give them a gentle tug – you want them to be tight enough that they don’t fall out, but not so tightly packed that your toddler can’t pull them out.

How to play:
Sometimes I like to leave a freshly packed Surprise Ball for my toddler to discover, as an invitation to play. Other times I will introduce it to her, and while I let her take the lead in investigating it, I will narrate it for her, describing the textures of the things she is pulling out. Now she is older, I ask her to name the colour of the thing she has pulled out.

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