I don’t know about other mom’s but I feel like I’m going crazy when I spend the day at home. Today, Baby Z and I had Gymboree class at noon and went for a walk in the morning and even then I felt bored out of my mind. Baby Z has learned to play catch, can stand and push his walkers, flips through books but there is only so much of that he can take before he is crawling all over me craving new stimulation. I have been stock piling on craft supplies at the dollar store lately and I remembered seeing this post for Pipe Cleaner Colander Play and I thought it might keep Baby Z occupied for a little while. All you need for this activity is a colander (sometimes called a strainer) and some pipe cleaners.
Since Baby Z is still too young to push the pipe cleaners through the colander like suggested in the post above I pushed them through for him so he could pull them out. If there is one thing he is good at it is taking things apart! It only took a couple minutes to do and then I set it on the ground for Baby Z to explore and learn. Just as I expected he started pulling them out, but since this was also his first time playing with pipe cleaners he also took his time to explore them individually – bending them, throwing them, trying to bang them on the floor, etc. I used this opportunity to talk about the colour of the pipe cleaners and we also made shapes out of them and talked about squares, triangles and circles etc. I also made hats and glasses out of pipe cleaners and Baby Z got a kick out of wearing the glasses, for about 5 seconds.
There are a lot more things you could do with this activity if you have older children like fishing for pipe cleaner fish. Simply make a fish out of pipe cleaners and turn one into a hook and then practice hooking them – which would also help with those fine motor skills.
All in all this was a good activity because it kept Baby Z and mommy entertained for a little while and was also a little educational.
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE BE VERY VERY CAREFUL WHEN LETTING ANY CHILD PLAY WITH PIPE CLEANERS. THERE ARE SHARP PARTS THAT CAN HURT LITTLE ONES, CAN POSE A CHOKING HAZARD AND/OR BE WRAPPED AROUND THEIR NECKS. PLEASE BE VIGILANT ABOUT CLOSELY SUPERVISING YOUR CHILD WHEN DOING THIS ACTIVITY OR ANY ACTIVITY WITH PIPE CLEANERS.