Fun for (Nearly) Free!

This idea, found on can be made into a game or left out for several weeks as a table top activity. Find small colored objects and tweezers or tongs, and see which child can fill the bottle first. You could also label separate bottles with different colors and instruct the children to put only the identified color in the bottle. This activity will increase finger agility, build pre-writing skills, aid eye-hand coordination, and help children develop patience and perseverance.

What exemplars can I assess my students using when playing with this activity?

Mathematical Thinking: Express mathematical ideas orally  by talking about more or less, adding and taking away objects. You can also encourage children to estimate which color has more pompons. Ask questions about mathematical ideas or problems when children ask, “How many more do I need?” or “How many yellow pompons do you have?” Use concrete materials to build sets 0-10 by making groups of selected numbers. Construct relationships between and among quantities using language such as: more than, less than, fewer than, as many as, one more, one less when comparing their work to another child’s work. Sorting and classifying according to colors. Children can play with patterns by playing pattern games with each other. Match, sort, and regroup objects according to attributes when sorting the items into shapes and sizes (if you include a variety of shapes).

Physical Development: Show basic motor skills by using the tongs/tweezers or finger tips to put pompons in the bottle. Develop fine motor skills necessary to control and sustain handwriting.

Personal and Social Development: Use materials with appropriate intention and purpose , put away materials independently after use, show eagerness and curiosity in learning new things independently, a child may initiate and offer ideas for a new project, complete short and long-term tasks, take turns when working in groups, offer verbal suggestions when solving interaction conflicts, share materials and equipment, listen to directions from peers and respond to multi-step tasks, offer verbal suggestions when solving interaction conflicts.

Language and Literacy Development: A child’s ability to write to express personal ideas using drawings, symbols, letters or words can be assessed if children are encouraged to draw a picture of their experiment and “write” about what they discovered.