The OT Toolbox: Invitation to Scoop and Pour

Invitation to Scoop and Pour

 

Scooping and Pouring for Toddlers and Preschoolers

is such a great fine motor and visual perceptual activity for little ones.  Not to mention the neat pinging sound you get when pouring grains of corn onto a metal tray :)
 
Toddlers who are learning to control the spoon during eating, scooping food with a spoon, and using  controlled motions to bring food to their mouth benefit from an activity like scooping corn.  A child with poor muscle control would benefit from different modifications to this activity: different sized scoops/spoons, lighter or heavier objects to scoop (sand, rice, beans, crafting pom poms, cotton balls...)
 
I had a set of these orange bowls and spoons sitting around and they worked great to scoop, pour, and dump corn.  Baby Girl was occupied with this activity for a looooong time.  
 
Pouring from a pitcher with something like corn is perfect play practice for the real world task of pouring drinks from a water pitcher.  Preschoolers often do this in a preschool setting at snack time, and pouring drinks for their friends is fun!  I've seen Big Sister glow with excitement when I have her pour water for us at lunch time here.  You can see her self-confidence growing! 
Pouring materials from a pitcher is also a great activity to work on bilateral coordination, visual perceptual skills (stop pouring before you overflow the cup!)
 
Baby Girl watched Big Sister fill the pitcher with corn and pour corn into the muffin tins.  (We were making "cupcakes" for Daddy!) Baby Girl then had to copy and pour the corn. 
 
Of course.  This girl does EVERYTHING the big kids do! 
 
If you are worried about the mess, lay down a blanket first and do all of the pouring and scooping on the middle of the blanket.  You could also play in a baby pool.  Or, just head outside now that we are having some warmer weather.

 
 

Why we love scooping and pouring:

Fine Motor skill development

Visual perceptual skills

Bilateral hand coordination

Self-confidence

Real-world practice

Sensory Play

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