Young children must develop motor coordination in their hands before they are able to grasp writing tools like crayons and markers and begin to make marks with them. During this phase of development, babies are acquiring more control over the muscles in their hands. You may see your baby begin to pass objects from one hand to her other hand. You can foster your baby’s development of more precise hand movements by encouraging her to feed herself with her fingers and play with objects that require her to use her thumb and forefinger grasp. Sponge blocks are easy to make and can provide your baby with exploration fun, while nurturing coordinated hand movements.
- six new kitchen sponges
Step 1: Gather six new kitchen sponges and a pair of scissors. To make the blocks more interesting, you can use various colors of sponges.
Step 2: To make the sponge blocks, cut the new sponges into four-inch shapes. Triangles, squares, and rectangles are the best shapes for little hands to manipulate and stack.
Step 1: Place your baby in a sitting position on the floor or in her highchair.
Step 2: Place the sponge blocks in front of her and demonstrate how to pick them up and stack them to make a tall tower! Encourage your baby to stack the sponge blocks. She will have a great time knocking them down and dropping them on the floor, especially from her highchair!
Step 3: Talk to your baby while you are playing together and use words to describe the sponge blocks like square, rectangle, triangle, soft, red, blue, orange, big, small, tall, tower, bridge, etc. You can also use words to describe the action during the activity like build, fall down, stack, knock down, drop, reach, etc.
Step 4: Continue the activity for as long as your baby is interested in exploring the sponge blocks. Store the sponge blocks in storage container or bag for future play.