Fine Motor Bamboo Stack

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I have been sitting on this one for awhile! Ever since I saw these adorable little panda figures at Target, I knew I wanted to create a bamboo stack small world sensory activity. This was such a great fine motor activity! My 4 year old loved practicing with the chopsticks! The chopsticks were too difficult for my two year old, but she enjoyed using the tweezers and simple working her pinching grasp as she tried placing the noodles on the bamboo poles. My 4 year old quickly discovered that if the noodles were slightly curved or too thin, then they wouldn’t fit on the poles. She had to be particular in selecting only straight noodles in order for them to work.

After we placed the “Bamboo” on the poles we incorporated math skills by counting the number of pasta we used on each of the poles. The small world portion of this activity allowed them to engage in dramatic play as well! They loved the little panda family and pretending that they were eating their bamboo. We also learned more about pandas, their habitat, the food they eat, and whether or not they like to socialize with other pandas (Alexa was a big help for answering some of those questions haha),

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We dyed the noodles and rice green by adding a squeeze of liquid water coloring in a ziplock bag and shaking. (I couldn’t find our exact brand, but you can find a similar one here.) After it was well coated I laid the rice and the pasta out on a pan to dry. I made up a half recipe of some of our classic play dough to stick the skewers in. In the future, I may try some small foam pieces or hardening clay so that the skewers stick a little more firmly.

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This activity held both of my girls interest for over an hour! My 2 year old especially loved the sensory component of the activity and kept going back to it throughout the day. I ended up leaving it out for two more days because it definitely filled my tactile sensory seeking two year olds cup! We will definitely be doing more rice and pasta sensory activities in the future!