Pom-Pom Pick-Up Activity

Pom-pom balls, mini-tongs, cups, and a bowl. An activity to develop fine motor skills with your preschooler.

So I've had a super busy week with 210 things to do and of course there's never enough time - hence my lack of posts! But as things finally begin to settle down again I am getting around to writing some posts about the activities I do with my kids to prepare them with some skills before starting kindy next year and this one involves pom-pom balls!

My kids have a fascination with mini-tongs. Originally I purchased them while I was a teacher to use with different activities and so it was natural to try and discover an activity that would help my toddlers as well.

At the moment my two children are at different learning points - yes, twins learn differently in terms of method, interest, and concentration! My daughter is keen to practice counting and 1-1 correspondance. My son is only now getting interested in practising counting everything (my daughter funny enough went through the exact behaviour about 4 months ago with her counting so it's a bit of deja vu). Anyway to combine the two interests I decided to put together a little game that I'd seen pictures of floating around the internet.

Pom-Pom Pick-Up Activity


  • 4 clear cups (I used plastic shot glasses as we could only find the small pom-pom balls)

  • Pom-pom balls

  • Mini-tongs (I got mine from Cheap as Chips for $2 a pair)

  • Bowl or tub (to hold the balls)

  • Printout of activity cards

How to Play

  1. Line-up four cups

  2. Place a card in front of each cup

  3. Child uses the tongs to select the relevant colour pom-pom ball from the bowl with the tongs and move it to the corresponding cup.

The set pictured had three levels: 2, 3, and 4 pom-pom balls. We started with the 2 and worked our way up until I let the kids choose whichever ones they wanted to do.

What's the point of the activity?

This activity is a great way to develop fine motor skills (that's the little movements). Fine motor skills are very important in developing early on to later assist with being able to manipulate small objects and writing.

Pom-Pom Pick-Up Activity example photograph by Miss Jenny's Classroom

Colour recognition is another element of the learning for this activity. While my kids have got their colours down-pat it doesn't hurt them to practise recognising them in different shades and situations. I would love to develop this activity further by locating some pom-pom balls in differing shades (such as light blue, medium blue, dark blue) to add a higher challenge elements...but still looking for some pom-poms.

1:1 correspondence is knowing what 1 actually is versus just being able to count in order. In this set I have only used 1 of each colour pom-pom in a cup. I needed to do that so my son could practise counting 1 green, 1 blue etc. but also so my daughter could reinforce her counting of 1, 2, 3 balls - they are both at the stage where they will tap each picture as they count.

Pom-Pom Pick-Up Activity example photograph by Miss Jenny's ClassroomOverall, I am looking to create a new level of this activity to keep up with challenging my kids. The only drawback was when my two decided that the cups made a lovely crunching sound...and while I was out of the room destroyed an entire packet of 20 cups in about 1 minute - they were very pleased with the mess (me not so much) but they did then learn that a consequence of destroying the cups was that they couldn't play the game again until we had bought some more - and yes, I made them wait a whole week.

If interested you can grab this set from Classroom Kitty. As well as the colour version seen in the pictures it also includes a blackline version in the event you can only find certain colour pom-poms and can colour the cards in as you want!

This resource could not have been created without the awesome clip art talents of 13Sparrows (pom pom balls) and Jennifer Ward (glass/cup).

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