Prep: 15 Minutes / Activity Time: 10-15 Minutes

Children must develop fine motor skills to prepare them to be able to hold a pencil or marker to draw and write. This activity will give your child a chance to practice pincer control as he pushes macaroni into the plastic lid of a container. Sounds simple, but kids love it!

  • 5 small plastic containers (e.g., yogurt, margarine, dip)
  • elbow macaroni (uncooked)


Step 1:  Make a hole in the top of the plastic lids by punching them with a pencil or the tip of scissors. The hole should provide just enough resistance to make it challenging for your child to push pieces of elbow macaroni through. 

Step 2:  Write a number on top of each of the containers (from 1-5)

Start the game: 

Step 3:  Have your child sit on the floor with the five containers and a small bowl of elbow macaroni.

Step 4:  Encourage him to look at the number on the top of the lid and push in the same number of macaroni (e.g., place four macaroni in the lid with the number ‘4’). 

Step 5:  Let your child have fun shaking the tubs after he has added the macaroni and compare how they sound!

Give your child just one or two tubs (without numbers on the lids) and let him add as many pieces of elbow macaroni as he likes into each of the tubs. 

You can include more than five containers. Follow your child’s lead. As he becomes more and more proficient with counting and pushing the macaroni into the containers, you can increase the skill level. But remember to keep it fun!