For some reason, my 2-year-old daughter is refusing to learn her colors. She can argue logic with me, and she can dress from head to toe all by herself, but colors? Nope, not interested. Therefore, I have to think of really fun projects to do with my toddler to teach her colors! Well, I assure you that this pom pom blowing color activity is one of the most fun activities we have done so far! Not only does it work on recognizing colors and matching, but it also works on oral motor skills!
Oral motor skills? Hm, that might be one skill that you haven’t thought about with your kid. Oral motor means how we use the muscles inside of our mouth. I remember one of my son’s friends needing to practice blowing bubbles to enhance speech production. Similarly, blowing through a straw helps with creating vowel sounds such as “ohhh” and “ooo.” Oral motor exercises such as blowing through a straw may also help your child with eating as it strengthens the muscles that keep food inside the mouth and are used to chew the food.
Onto the exercise!
- Plastic cups (I prefer clear ones so you can see inside)
- Pom poms with different colors
- Container for the pom poms
- Place the pom poms into a bowl or container.
- Line up the cups on the table with the open ends facing your kid.
- Place a pom pom inside the cups, each cup with a different colored pom pom. You can always start with a few and then increase the numbers of pom poms/cups as you repeat this activity.
- Give your kid the straw and tell him/her to pick a pom pom from the container.
- Place the pom pom on the table and ask your kid to blow the pom pom into the cup with the same-colored pom pom as the one on the table.
- Repeat steps 4-5 until your kid gets tired of blowing or all the pom poms are gone, whichever comes first!
When I first gave my daughter a straw to blow, she had trouble because she couldn’t form a seal with her lips around the straw. Therefore, the air was escaping from the corners of her mouth instead of going into the straw. After a few practices, she realized that she needed to protrude her lips more in order to form that proper seal. If your child is having trouble, you can try a bigger straw or a shorter straw. It may be fun anyhow to try different types of straws and see if they make a difference.
I also happened to have differently sized pom poms. We discovered that the bigger ones were heavier and therefore harder to move, but they were easier to control due to the larger size. On the other hand, the smaller ones moved easily, but they might fall off the table if she blew too hard. No worries, she thought it was funny when the pom poms went flying.
I believe this is one of the most fun color activities we have done so far! My daughter is getting to a point that matching colors is easy for her, so adding that extra layer of difficulty with blowing through the straw into the cups really increased the entertainment value. Even I had fun blowing some pom poms into the cups myself … really, try it!