Pounding activities promote development of little minds and bodies alike, as young children discover how to use large and small muscle groups and eye-hand coordination to manipulate pounding tools and materials. Varying objects and items will teach your child differences in textures while helping him to adjust his force and muscle use as he pounds. Pounding activities are also a constructive way for young children to release energy and vent anger or frustration. Always supervise pounding activities and only use shatterproof, age-appropriate toys and nontoxic materials to prevent injury or illness.
Clay Pounding Activities
Non-toxic children’s clay is pliable and soft, which makes it suitable for little arms and hands to pound. Roll some clay into a ball and show your child how to make a fist and pound it flat. Increase the complexity of this activity by providing your child with a wooden or plastic toy hammer. This will help your little one build fine and gross motor skills as she discovers how to manipulate the tool. Choose child-friendly hammering objects with textured or patterned surfaces to add variety to this activity. The imprints of the textured pattern will appear in soft clay, which your child can use to sculpt with after pounding the clay flat.
Toddler temper tantrums are unhealthy for parents and kids alike. They send even the most patient moms into total frustration, while posing risk of harm or injury to children themselves. Teach your youngster how to release energy and aggression safely with this pounding activity, which will also develop coordination skills. Set up foam or fabric blocks on the floor or a low, flat surface in a pyramid formation. Then, give your little one a child’s plastic hammer or golf club and encourage him to pound away at the blocks. Push plastic tees or other small items with small, rounded edges into foam blocks and encourage your child to use his hammering tool to pound the object into the block, promoting fine motor skills.
Flower Pounding Crafts
Pounding crafts foster the same motor and coordination development in preschoolers, with the added benefit of promoting cognitive and creative development through slightly advanced, creative project objectives. Instruct your child to pound fresh flowers between two sheets of wax paper, using her fists or a small, wooden mallet, and then help her glue the flowers onto a piece of construction paper to create artistic designs and pictures. Alternatively, have your child pound flowers onto a piece of plain white fabric so that the colors and shapes imprint onto the cloth. Frame the cloth or stitch it into a quilt or pillowcase for an artistic keepsake.
Edible Pounding Activities
Provide your child with a variety of food items and clean pounding materials to incorporate pounding activities into snack time. Lay a plastic tablecloth down on a large table surface to avoid sticky messes and make cleanup a snap. Arrange crunchy cereal, soft cheese, moist fruit slices and thick yogurt dollops onto the tablecloth, and lay out a variety of clean pounding tools such as children’s hammers, wooden dowels, small, plastic rolling pins and play spatulas nearby. Instruct your child to pound away on the different foods with different tools to explore textures and observe differences in outcomes and splat patterns. Encourage your child to touch and eat the foods to learn how pounding affects taste and consistency.