As we come to the end of our A to Z Fine Motor Play series the letters of the alphabet become harder. Thankfully for the letter U, party cocktail umbrellas came to the rescue.
I had never thought of using them as a fine motor tool until I tried to open one whilst I had a plaster on my finger. What seemed an easy task was suddenly fiddly.
I decided to set up a beach scene for my son to enjoy some Umbrella Fine Motor Play.
Creating the beach scene was straightforward. I used two different styles of sponges for our seaside.
Three sponges had green, yellow and blue strips that represented the grass, sand and sea. The other sponges were sponge scourers turned upside down.
I cut up three types of material to make small beach towels and raided my sons Lego Minifigures collection for small people to be sunbathing.
The object of the activity was for my son to give each sunbather an umbrella to keep them cool.
This sounds easier than it actually is. Cocktail umbrellas require lots of perseverance for little hands to open them without ripping the delicate paper.
First, the small elastic band protecting the paper umbrella had to be removed. Next, the umbrella had to be teased away from the cocktail stick. Finally, the tiny elastic band had to be pushed up the cocktail stick in order for the umbrella to open fully.
Once the umbrella was open, the cocktail stick had to be pushed into the sponge. This was no easy job for my little one.
Despite the difficulty of the fine motor skills, my son thoroughly enjoyed the activity.
So much so that he requested for more sunbathers and to repeat the activity again.
Not only was the activity great for developing his fine motor skills but it was wonderful to watch emergent imaginative play too.
The Lego Minifigures talked to each and even went swimming. I now see party cocktail umbrellas in a new light!