Children seem almost programmed to love digging and seeking out interesting things in the ground. I remember as a child I would love digging for worms from the garden. Whilst getting hands dirty outdoors is lots of fun, this is a cute little indoor activity that will tap into your child’s imagination and help them develop their fine motor skills at the same time.
Possum (aged 3.5 years) has had some time off preschool because of some cheeky bug that had made her feel really unwell. As she was beginning to feel better she was, of course, feeling a little housebound (like me) and looking for some quiet entertainment. I thought it would be a good idea to prepare her a fun and simple craft activity that would have her making pipe cleaner worms and digging through brown rice as a wonderful sensory experience.
Recommended age: 3 years +
(Active supervision is always required on my activities)
Our first task was to make the adorable pipe cleaner worms.
You will need –
- Pipe cleaners cut in half
- Googly eyes (optional)
To begin, create a loop at one end of the pipe cleaner and have your child thread on the beads. Possum is really starting to recognise and create patterns and so I encouraged her to try out a few colourful patterns using the beads. As you can imagine, this threading activity is wonderful on developing children’s fine motor skills. Just be sure to fold over the end of the pipe cleaner to secure the beads.
How cute are these worms! Before you tell me worms don’t have eyes, I know, but these didn’t look as adorable without eyes. Whilst Possum and I were making them, we talked about how worms moved about even though they don’t have eyes. How do they know where they are going?
Once we were done, I added our worms on a bed of brown rice, which I’d intensified the colour of using food colouring. Now the activity became completely open-ended and Possum was free to play however she pleased. She was only going to be limited by her imagination!
So can we just take a moment to talk more about worms, particularly the common threadworm, which children can often get during the back to preschool or school periods. Yes, the thought of them isn’t pleasant and it isn’t exactly the type of conversation you have with others, but if you’re like me, it’s always a good idea to keep COMBANTRIN® chocolate squares in the medicine cabinet. That way you can treat the whole family quickly at the first signs of symptoms.
Possum really loved making and playing with this activity. She particularly loved using the brown rice to completely cover up the worms and use tweezers or child-friendly chopsticks to dig around and find them again. It was also very easy to clean and pack up once the playing time was over. I simply stored the whole thing in a large clip seal container for next time.