Monthly Archives: December 2009

Gluing Cotton Balls

This is a great first attempt at gluing.  It went better than using a glue stick actually.  I just put a small amount of glue on a paper plate and showed J how to dip the cotton ball into the glue and then onto the paper.  The cotton ball is the perfect size for his hand.  He doesn’t end up with glue all over his hands with this activity. 

This first time I had J glue cotton balls wasn’t too creative.  I was really just filling time with an idea in the back of my head (I think it was from the Toddler Busy Book). As you can see with our example, it isn’t too impressive.  It has been snowing outside earlier that week, so I told him we were going to make a snow picture.  That was enough for J. 🙂  It was simply good practice for him, but not necessarily a project to frame.

Please don’t laugh at my snowman.  I just decided to show him how to stack three snowballs on top of each other, to create a snowman.  I grabbed the nearest marker and quickly added a hat, face and arms.  He was impressed.  God bless this child who loves mom’s poor artwork!   

Age attempted:  around 19 months I think; I definitely could’ve tried this at an earlier age.

Teachable Moments:  I didn’t really capitalize on this!  I just focused on teaching him the purpose of glue and how to correctly use it.

Future Potential:  Have him glue the correct number cotton balls next to the number fo the day.  Have him fill a shape (work on inside/outside; filling) with cotton balls; clouds at the end of a rainbow,  hmmm… that’s all I’ve got!


I gave J a bowl of colored stones (for his two different colors, but as he gets older I can add more colors) and an empty ice cube tray.  The first step was to fill each section with one stone (I wasn’t concerned with colors at this point). It’s basically a simple pattern, each spot needs one stone.  Then he emptied the tray and I had him fill one side with red stones and the other side with blue stones.

I’ve done the same thing with the colored pom pom balls.  Really you could use anything small enough to fit.  Somtimes changing the sorting item is enough to make get J interested again, especially if it’s not really a toy!  Oooh, I get to play with rocks now!  Oooh  paperclips!!! Ooooh  erasers!!!

19 months

Age?  First done (with pompom balls) around 16 months; color sorting at 19 months

Try Again?  Yes, as long as the difficulty increases with age.  As he gets older and better at counting I can specify the number of stones in each section or have him add one more stone in each subsequent section (so he has one stone in box one, two stones in box two, …).  I can also incorporate motor skills by having him use a spoon or tongs to transfer the stones.