DIY balloon color sorting jars recycling play hack for kids promotes color recognition and fine motor control in toddlers and preschoolers.
I love using items around the house, and I am sure so do you! Recycling play hacks for kids allow you to repurpose and reuse, thus reducing spending and our carbon footprint. So, next time you are about to recycle a small food jar, save it as I will show you an amazing hack! Besides, it should not take you more than five minutes to set it up. Most importantly, your child will be practicing so many skills using simple items around the house.
WHAT You’ll need to make Balloon Color Sorting Jars:
- recycled small jars (or use if you have leftover Dr. Brown’s Glass Bottles)
- balloons (we are using latex balloons, which are made from natural rubber, but be mindful of any latex-allergies)
- pom poms (alternatively, you can use small buttons, colorful craft sticks or even ribbons)
- tongs – optional
HOW to conduct this recycling play hack:
First, cut the top portion of a ballon. Then, stretch the larger cut portion of the balloon over a small jar. Thereafter, offer your child to sort pom-poms, buttons, ribbons, craft sticks – whatever colorful you have that will fit in your jar.
Skills your child will be practicing:
- COLOR RECOGNITION. The development milestone to learn to identify colors emerges from age 12 to 18 months. Your child will become aware of different colors at around one years of age and could name different colors by the age of 2.5 – 3 years.
- HAND-EYE coordination, which is the ability to coordinate the information received through the eyes to control, guide, and direct the hands in the accomplishment of a given task.
- FINE MOTOR CONTROL. When children practice small muscle hand control by tonging, pinching, transferring, threading, etc, they develop the strength, dexterity, and control needed to manipulate many everyday items such as a pencil, spoon, button, scissors, zippers, and more … “He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.” – Dr. Maria Montessori. The Absorbent Mind.
- DEXTERITY, which is perfecting skills and ease in using their hands.
- MATH – as an additional twist, offer your child to count pom poms as s/he drops them, thus reinforcing 1:1 correspondence.
Benefits of this Play Hack DIY:
- a balloon adds non-slip texture to the glass bottle, which otherwise might be unsafe or slippery to handle by toddlers
- this recycling play hack re-purposes old jars
- also, balloons are made from natural rubber latex, making this DIY plastic-free!
Ways to adopt this activity:
The three-color-jars activity can be presented to a two-year-old, where you would start with primary colors only. Invite your child to push pom poms into the corresponding color jars. (Using tongs might be too advanced at this age.) You can download the Primary Colors PDF HERE. (After printing, I simply placed dot stickers under each corresponding color.)
Montessori Color Tablets Box 1 is the first box presented to a child starting at 18 months. It consists of three pairs of primary colors. You would lay a color from each pair, and then invite a child to find a matching pair.
Once the child can successfully match the tablets, add an additional element by offering to match another item to the pairs.
You can use pom poms and offer your child to match them to the corresponding pairs. Alternatively, invite your child to go on the color-hunt, by offering a basket. A child would walk around and gather items around the house which match the pair presented. For smaller children, place a tablet in the basket, so that they would not forget what color they are looking for. Do one color at a time. Color-hunts are also great gross motor activities, which are super fun for developing toddlers who might find difficult to sit still.
Please, always supervise your children as small items can be a choking hazard.
Did you know that sensory play stimulates brain growth, cognitive development and builds nerve connections within the developing brain’s neural pathways, which trigger a child’s inclination for and ability in completing more complex learning tasks? Sensory play also supports language development, motor skills, problem-solving skills, and social interaction!
♡ Enriching the Mind one Heart at a time ♡