A Very Simple Toothpick Activity

Here are some photos of Lilah doing a very simple toothpick activity. She spent a good fifteen minutes really concentrating on getting those toothpicks through the teeny holes in the container. This is great for developing her fine motor skills and a great activity for letting kids “help” in the kitchen. ūüôā

She learned that if you do it one-handed, sometimes the jar will tip over.

Then she figured out using two hands would help.

She was so proud of herself!

I think this particular toothpick container came in a three pack from the Dollar Tree, but I’ve had it for awhile so I can’t say for sure. ¬†Regardless, you should be able to find them for cheap if you don’t already have one, or you can be creative and come up with something similar using materials you already own. ¬†We love thrifty fun! ¬†

Other ideas for similar activities:
  • Save old plastic containers (like lidded yogurt, cottage cheese, or those large ice cream containers) and poke holes in the lid
  • Find containers that already have holes (like parmesan cheese shakers, spice jars, or salt and pepper shakers)
  • Use long straight objects to put in the holes — uncooked spaghetti or linguine noodles, toothpicks, pipe cleaners, straws, colored pencils, unsharpened¬†#2 pencils, Wikki Stix, birthday candles, Tinker Toys, crochet hooks, knitting needles, eating utensils, cotton swabs (Q-tips), crayons, pens or markers, chop sticks, etc. ¬†(You be the judge on what is safe and okay for your child to use — I’d never give Lilah markers for instance unless I was right there with her because I know I’d probably have to repaint the room afterwards!!)

The smaller the holes and the thinner/more breakable the objects that are to be inserted, the more challenging the activity. ¬†Adjust as needed for your child’s ability and frustration levels. ¬†

**You can see more photos of Lilah’s fun on our Facebook Page: In Lieu of Preschool in the Toothpick Activity (Fine Motor Skills) album.

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!