All of the credit for this BRILLIANT pumpkin ring post for toddlers goes to my Instagram friend @momducator (find her here)! Her little girl actually came up with it when presented with a basket full of loose parts, but I immediately saw how it could be used on a Montessori-inspired work tray.
I got one of my 21 (!) pumpkins and put it on a small tray with a ramiken filled with washers.
I showed L how to put one washer on the stem of the pumpkin, and she thought it was the coolest thing ever. She has been doing this work CONSTANTLY ever since.
Our struggle lately has been that N wants to do everything that L is doing. However, she is still putting a lot of things in her mouth, and I didn’t want her to choke on a washer. So I quickly grabbed another pumpkin and some teething rings and set it up for N to work with beside her sister.
N had a hard time getting the rings ON the stem, but she loved taking them OFF. And she was so excited to be doing a real work just like her sister that she left L alone! Now L brings N this work every time she doesn’t want her in her space. And it usually works!
I love this work because it is adaptable for both infants and toddlers, and both age groups were engaged and excited about using it! This helps to develop fine motor control and hand-eye coordination. The toddler version with washers has an additional sensorial element as the washers clink together when you put more than one on the pumpkin stem.
Be sure to check out @momducator on Instagram for more awesome ideas!