PLAY TRIBE Uncategorized Hammer Games for your active toddler

Hammer Games for your active toddler

Do you have an active toddler?

Is your little one full of beans and bubbly energy?

I know Aidan sure is, always has been and always will be!

Over the 3 and 1/2 years of being his mum I have learnt to harvest that energy and point into towards something productive.

Hammer games are a big part of that!

Before we dive into a bunch of simple ways to use a hammer safely in play I wanted to let you know just a few of the skills this can develop:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Upper body strength
  • Hand strength
  • Crossing the body's midline
  • Bilateral Co-ordination (using both hands together)
  • Building strong hands
  • Power grasp

My favourite thing though is its ability to calm, centre and relax Aidan. Any frustrations, over zealous bubbles he is feeling can be positively directed into the hammer. He is encouraged to use his strong muscles and be forceful with his movements, which for him is better than candy!

Simple activities
Play dough Colour Smash

Using two different colours of play dough, roll some dough balls.

Either using a DIY colour dice or with verbal prompts instruct your little learner which colour to smash!

Egg Carton Smash

Egg cartons provide a wonderful base for golf tee ‘nails’.

They are firm enough to hold their shape and provide resistance but also soft enough to be easily pierced by a gold tee!

Counting Play Dough Smash

To bring a little bit of counting into our play I have also presented dough balls with a 6 sided dice. 

Aidan was encouraged to roll the dice, select that many balls and smash them!

Colour matching egg carton smash

To add another element to the egg carton smash I colour coded the egg carton and golf tees.

Each ‘nail’ had a specific place to go and it incorporated a bit of problem solving into the task.

1 - 2 - 3 Smash

Make some digit impressions in dough and pair it with a dice, or use visual cues to prompmt.

Another great way to incorporate some early maths skills into a movement task!

Dough Nails

Tub of dough and a bag of golf tees! 

See how many different ways you can hammer the golf tees in, can you bang it hard? can you bang it softly? Which works better? 

Fine motor hammer

Draw lines on a cardboard box and encourage your little learner to hammer the golf tees in on the line!

Hammer painting

This should be done outside, chances are things are going to get messy!

Put blobs of paint on paper and cover with cotton buds, smash with a hammer and watch the paint go SPLAT!

In these photos you will notice there are no metal hammers or metal nails. We do engage in that style of play too but under direct supervision as nails are sharp and hammers are dangerous!

Plastic or wooden hammers are a great alternative as your little one has more freedom to explore, gold tees also make wonderful makeshift nails!

 

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