Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Tots on a Tuesday {counting and lacing with bottle tops}

For a while now, I have been collecting lids from milk bottles, and from milk cartons and baby food pouches. They just looked so USEFUL.

Do you not find yourself doing that? Thinking "I can't throw that away, I'm sure I could use it for something?".  Someone else in this house is worse than me, and often the things HAVE been useful, many moons later, and for a random variety of things.

Call me Madame Cholet and be done with it.

You don't know what I'm talking about?

Well, if you have a tot, let them enjoy this.

Back to my lids.

Here in the UK there are generally 4 different lid colours on milk cartons, depending on the type of milk. Blue is full fat, green is semi-skimmed and red is skimmed. (In the US, you call them all different things). There is also a brand that has a purple lid, and one shop sells it with an orange lid. I have quite a lot of them, and was sure I could use them.

I finally settled upon a  good use, whilst I have been finding fun ways to do counting, as well as working on fine motor skills.  I thought they would make a super duper lacing "bead"!

I have a tool, for punchiing holes - it's a craft tool, but you can easily find them online.

I first of all punched a hole in the centre of each lid.  You want to do this on a self-healing mat, or on a solid chopping board that you don't mind having little circles all over!

I wanted to make this an activity where I could check that they had done it right, so I made some laminated cards with numbers on them, and then punched a hole in the bottom of them.

I then got some yarn, and tied a length onto the bottom of each card.  If you get a piece of tape, and wrap it around the end of the piece of yarn, it makes it like a lace, and easier to thread through a hole.  Of course, I had to make the yarn match the number on each card. Pretty rainbows!

This is me taping the bottoms of the yarn - Elijah snapped the picture!

Once all the preparation was done, I got them to line the cards up in numerical order.  

This is Elijah lining them up, all very neatly and precisely, as is his way!

Then, they got busy lacing the lids onto the yarn - the right number of lids for the number, on the "lace".

(Look at that concentration!!)

This is Simeon, with his own lids to play with! Getting a non-blurry photo of this boy is HARD - he's always on the move!

This is Elijah trying out for the British Skydiving Team  showing off his handiwork!

He does love to pose with any work he does!

Don't they look pretty?  

They had great fun doing this, and it added another way to reinforce recognising numbers, ordering numbers, hand-eye co-ordination, and fine motor control. You could do the numbers and limit them to being the colours of the bottle lids, and then you would have a colour matching activity, too!

If you don't have a printer and laminator, you could easily do this with pieces of card, and some coloured pens.

Personally, I love my laminator. Sad, but true!

Oh, and here's how I store my activities.

Little zip-lock bags, which I bought from Amazon.

So, there you have it.  My "wombling" tendencies have turned my milk bottle lids into a useful tool!

Oh, and just as an aside...

Someone's on the up and up - now the fun really begins!  Another "tot" on her feet!


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