Threading is quite a complicated skill for toddlers and preschoolers. It develops their fine motor skills, hand eye coordination and mental concentration, all of which are precursors to writing. And learning to thread is fun! Especially if you combine it with morning tea.
1. Honeydew Melon Skewers
Here’s my 2.5 year old JJ learning how to thread onto a bamboo skewer. She found it easiest to anchor the pointy end of the skewer to the bench or plate, and push the honeydew melon onto the blunt end.
She did all of these herself quite easily.
When she’d finished, I asked her to call Nathan down for morning tea. JJ called out “Daddy, morning tea is READY. Honey-doo mey-on skews Daddy. What were you hoping for?”
2. Cheerio Necklace
We’ve also tried threading Cheerios onto twine. First I tie a Cheerio onto one end to act as a anchor, then let her thread away. This is a big jump in skill level. It really requires you to use both hands together. JJ can poke the twine through a Cheerio easily enough, but then it gets trickier when you have to swap hands in order to pull the Cheerio down the length of twine.
JJ spent ages but only got about half a dozen threaded. So we called this a victory and then I did the rest for her (in about 20 seconds because my own threading skills totally rock!) so that she could wear and eat the necklace as a snack. This task is right at her skill level at the moment, so I have a feeling we’ll be doing this every second day until she masters it, or until she shows signs of boredom or frustration.
(Cheerios have too much sugar for my liking, but I’ve not found had a chance to go searching for a healthier alternative. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know?)
3. Strawberry & Blueberry Fruit Necklace
A further extension is a fruit necklace. For this I tied a blunt wool needle to some twine, and tied a blueberry to the other end as an anchor. What makes this task more challenging, is needing to maintain a somewhat gentle grip on the fruit as you thread. JJ squished quite a few blueberries as she couldn’t concentrate on both things at once. I ended up making most of the necklace, whilst JJ watched (and ate up the supplies!)
As you can see, these were lots of fun to wear! And bonus that I got to tick this off my To-Do list. Although her top needed a good soak afterwards.