19 - 21 Months

5 ways to play the pom pom way

Toddler putting pom poms in an empty cardboard container

Pom poms—small multicolored cotton balls—are so simple and so fun for your toddler. They’re great for fine motor development activities like tweezing, sorting, and poking small objects through holes.

Here are some ideas for pom pom play at home or on the go:

Note: pom pom play should always be supervised. These little soft balls can be a choking hazard, so be sure to keep your toddler within reach, especially if they like to put things in their mouth.


Poke the pom poms through the top of an empty milk or juice carton (the kind with the small spout, shown above). Cut out a flap from the bottom so your toddler can retrieve the pom poms easily and poke them through over and over again. 

If you don’t have a carton, try having your toddler push them through the top of an old plastic water bottle.      


Young child putting pom poms in the Nesting Stacking Cups by Lovevery
In photo: Nesting Stacking Dripdrop Cups from The Inspector Play Kit

You might think your active toddler wouldn’t be into deep-focus, Montessori-style transferring activities, but as they get closer to two years old, they will have enough hand-eye coordination to get really engaged in it.

They will love using the tweezers to practice transferring pom poms, blueberries, peas, or other small items from one container to another. Even If your toddler isn’t interested in tweezers, they may still find the activities engaging using their fingers, and the practice is great for their fine motor and cognition skills.


Young child pulling rocks and pom poms out of the Magic Tissue Box by Lovevery
In photo: Magic Tissue Box from The Senser Play Kit

Hide the pom poms and the felt stars in the Magic Tissue Box, along with some hard objects like small rocks or toys. Talk about the difference between soft and hard, things that are round and things that have edges. Then ask your toddler to put their hand in the box, feel around without looking, and pull out the objects in each category: soft, round, hard, and shapes with points.


Young child playing with pom poms in a muffin tin

Tweeze and sort the pom poms and felt stars by color into the Nesting Stacking Dripdrop Cups. If you have both larger and smaller pom poms, your toddler can also sort them by size. Toddlers begin to enjoy sorting by color, type, and size somewhere between 18 and 24 months. They can also sort pom poms into a muffin tin or egg carton.


Young child putting pom poms on a sticky paper on the wall

Your toddler can stick the pom poms to your window or wall using clear transfer paper (this paper is slightly sticky and clear and can be found here). Use painter’s tape to attach the transfer paper to a window, the floor, or a table—sticky side out—and let your toddler stick and unstick the pom poms.


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Posted in: 19 - 21 Months, Fine Motor, Sorting, Playtime and Activities, Child Development

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