Toddler Activity: The Straw Pull

We're at an interesting stage with Gunner. He wants to play, play, play and while he can speed crawl like it's nobody's business, he's still limited on a lot of things he can do because he isn't walking yet. Playgrounds and parks aren't as fun when you're confined to a stroller and paint and glitter crafts aren't safe for a little boy who is currently in the stage of sticking everything in his mouth.

But, that doesn't mean that Gunner doesn't need different types of active engagement through out the day. I think we'd all agree if we did the exact same things or played with the exact same toys every day, we might get a little bored so I've set out to create some activities for Gunner. All activities must be able to be done by sitting or standing and not involve anything that he could harm himself with by sticking it in his mouth.

The first activity I came up with is "The Straw Pool." Now, my version doesn't involve straws, although you could use them, but it made me think of when you're drawing straws (as in, whoever draws the short straw loses) so that's where the name comes from. 

Toddler Activity DIY Straw Pull

-Container with a removable plastic lid (I used a Gerber Graduates Puffs container) 
-A hole punch 
-Craft pipe cleaners or straws

Toddler Activity DIY Straw Pull Tools

I didn't take any pictures of the steps, it's a little hard to do that when the only person home with you is an almost one year old, BUT this is super easy. Honestly, I'm sure you could figure these steps out yourself, but here they are just in case you have any questions...

1) Punch holes in the plastic lid. You could cut the holes too if that works better for you.
2) Trim the pipe cleaners to the desired length.
3) Replace the lid.
4) Stick the pipe cleaners in the hole.
5) Give to your kiddo and watch them enjoy.

Toddler Activity DIY Straw Pull
Toddler Activity DIY Straw Pull

I'll be honest -- I wasn't sure how this activity would turn out but Gunner loves it! He'll literally sit for 20 minutes and do this. I still have to replace the pipe cleaners for him, but my next step is working for him to be able to put them in himself. 

If you wanted to do this activity with an older kid, say a toddler who knows their colors, you could color code the holes by using colored hole punch paper reinforcements.

This activity is perfect for when I'm cooking dinner or I need a few minutes of quiet to make a phone call, plus it's great for fine motor skills and coordination.


So do you think you'll try it? Do you like this idea of DIY toddler activities?
It's something I think I might be keeping around, so let me know in the comments!

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