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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Silly Putty Silliness

I love Silly Putty.  There's just so much you can do with it, it's not messy, you can buy it for cheap and it's great for Fine Motor Development.  Just squeezing it strengthens the muscles in the hand and wrist which is very important for cutting and writing skills later on in life.

Keelyn tried out some of my favourite Silly Putty activities today.  We used two blobs of Silly Putty.

First I just gave her time to explore it.  She squished it and pulled it apart.  I showed her how to flatten it and roll it into a ball between her two hands.  I also showed her how to roll it into a snake in between her hands on on the table.  When I tried to take a picture of the snakes she said "no more clicks mommy!"

Show your child how to roll the putty between their two hands to form a ball or how to roll it on the table.  For a child with more advanced skills or older, have them break of a smaller piece and roll little balls between their thumb and first finger.  

Next we put pennies inside the Putty and I showed her how to pull it apart with her thumb and first finger (pincer grip) to try and find the pennies.  This would be fun with all sorts of treasures, beads, beans, buttons etc.  Then we flattened the putty like a pancake and I had her press as hard as she could the pennies into the putty.  Then I had her use her pincer grip to pull out the pennies one at a time.  She was thrilled with the impressions the pennies made into the putty.

Squishing the coins into the silly putty.  You can see the concentration !
I showed her how to apply pressure to stick the  coin in really well.  In fact she would say "squeeze" when she put each coin in.  
Removing the coins.  Even putting them back into the small bowl is good fine motor.  
See how she is using her thumb and first finger?  

After this, things started to get a little silly.  I showed her how if you made a ball it actually could bounce.  She experimented with different shapes (balls, pancakes, snakes) and would squeal with laughter as the shape would bounce off the wall, up the stairs and once even into the bathroom!  She then had me hold one end and her the other and she walked backwards to see how long she could stretch it out.

Testing out the putty's bounce
This is when things started to get a little crazy! 

We probably played with the putty for a good 45 minutes.  Not bad entertainment for the length of time for $2.00.  When it was clean up time even squishing it back into the container was good for her fine motor!

Carefully squeezing it back into the container.  

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