Cotton Swab Push: A Fine Motor Skill Activity for Toddlers
Cotton Swab Push is a great and inexpensive fine motor skills activity for your toddler that takes little time to set up and will keep your toddler entertained (at least for a few minutes :D). This is a perfect activity to add to your list of things to do for kids, whether it be a rainy day or just a regular Saturday afternoon! Even better, cotton swab push will help develop you little one’s fine motor skills and dexterity. Who knew cotton swabs could do such a thing?!
There’s no need to make a special trip to the crafts store for this activity as you probably have all of the needed materials already. Don’t you love it when you have all of the materials needed for an arts and crafts project?
- Empty egg carton
- Something to poke a hole in the egg carton
- Non-toxic, washable paint
- Cotton swabs
Prep your egg carton and cotton swabs
Taking your egg carton, cut off the top so you just have the bottom “cups”. Flip the egg carton upside down and paint the tops of the “cups” with non-toxic, washable paint. Choose colors that are easy to recognize for your toddler. We like this Crayola set because it has the 10 most basic colors that is perfect for any activity! Use these same paint colors to paint the ends of the cotton swabs so you have one cotton swab paired to each color on the egg carton.
After the paint on the egg carton has dried, use a chopstick or a screwdriver, poke a hole in each colored cup. The hole should be just large enough for the cotton swab to “push” through.
Time for the activity
Now it’s time for the activity! Place your colored cotton swabs in a pile next to the colored egg carton. You may have to show your toddler or preschooler what to do at first. But they’ll catch on pretty quickly! You can have your toddler play independently or you can talk them through the colors they are seeing and what they are doing. I love incorporating an aspect of learning in all the projects that we do with Remy as it just makes learning natural and fun!
Fine Motor Development
This activity also helps with fine motor skills as your toddler works on their pincer grasp to pick up individual cotton swabs and physically pushing them through the egg carton. In addition, your toddler is building up their hand-eye coordination and may even work on crossing their midline.
Crossing the midline is when they move their arm or leg across the middle of their body to perform a task. For example, if you place the cotton swabs to the left of your little one, but they use their right hand to pick them up, they are crossing the midline. This skill is vital to the development of using both sides of the body together and promotes communication and coordination of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. It promotes bilateral coordination and the process of developing a dominant hand. Kudos to cotton swabs for doing all of that!
Overall, this cotton swab push activity is so simple and so much fun that you should add it to your rotating list of activities for kids. Once you have the activity made, it takes no time to set up and will keep your little explorers entertained at least for a little bit! What do you think? Would you do this with your toddler or preschooler? What other activities are on your list of things to do with kids?