Cotton Balls Music

Musical Clothespin

Have the children sit in a circle.

Give each child a clothespin and a cotton ball.

Instruct the children to pick up and drop the cotton ball on the lap of the child sitting to their right when the music starts.

When the music stops, each child should pick up his cotton ball using the clothespin and raise their hand.

You can make it into a game by giving an additional cotton ball to a child who raised their hand but did not have a cotton ball caught on his clothespin.

The child with the least number of cotton balls at the end of the game wins.

Game Variations:

  • Instead of using a clothespin, you might want to use tongs or tweezers.
  • If you are playing with 1 child, you may want to just use one cotton ball and see who has it when the music stops.
  • After a few times passing the cotton balls to the right, switch and have the passing go left.

Feed Me

In this activity, imagination and creativity are key components.

Begin by drawing the face of a child, a character (clown, robot, princess, etc.), or an animal that the child likes on the shoe box’s cover. Then, cut out the mouth of your figure so that it looks like the figure is opening its mouth. Make sure the opening is big enough so that the child is able to place the small objects through the opening.

Place the cotton balls (see additional ideas for objects below) on the table in front of the child or in a shallow bowl.

Give the tongs to the child and instruct her to hold it with her thumb, pointer, and middle fingers only, while tucking the pinkie and ring fingers into the palm of her hand. Then, ask the child to use the tongs to pick up one object at a time and feed the figure by placing the object into the figure’s open mouth.

This is where creativity comes into play as you can use the child’s imagination to decide what kind of food the cotton balls represent.

If you chose to draw an animal, you can have the cotton balls be the type of food this specific animal eats (i.e. monkey = bananas, dog = bones, bunny = carrots, etc.)

Based on the child’s developmental skills, you can have her draw the figure (can be a very simple figure) and cut the mouth opening independently.

Additional ideas for small objects (depending on the child’s age and abilities): pasta, beads (large and small), beans, cotton swabs, marbles, and Lego

Acorn Stamper

Acorn Stamp

Draw an acorn on the construction paper (see images for example) or you can let the child trace an acorn stencil to promote fine motor control and visual-motor skills.

Let the child cut the acorn shape using scissors.

Using a piece of small sponge instruct the child to pinch it and dip it into the paint then stamp and paint the bottom part of the acorn cut out. You can also use q-tips or cotton balls to paint.

Encourage the child to fill in the entire bottom part of the acorn.

Have the child spread glue on the top part of the acorn.

Provide the child with a few dry leaves. Instruct the child to crumble the leaves inside the palm of his hand and then spread them on the glue. This will promote finger strength and finger translation.

You may also use beans to cover the top area of the acorn.

Fun Jar

Use a large, empty, and clean jar for this activity.

Provide the child with pipe cleaners and/or straws and instruct him to insert the items through the holes on the jar’s lid.

You can ask the child to sort the items by color or size before placing them in the jar.

If using a jar that has holes and a small opening on the lid, you can use additional items to place through the opening, such as pom-poms, buttons, large beads, coins, etc.

The child can use tongs or tweezers to catch the items before dropping them through the large opening.

If you cannot find a spice jar, you can use a regular container and poke holes in the lid, using a hole-puncher or cut holes with scissors.

Paper Bag Fish

Have the child crumple the newspapers into small paper balls.

Stuff the paper bag with the crumpled newspapers.

Use the yarn or a ribbon to tie a knot close to the edge of the open end to close the paper bag.

Ask the child to paint the filled paper bag using either a brush or cotton balls.

Glue large googly eyes.

For grading, you can ask the child to draw eyes on construction paper and cut/glue it onto the paper bag.

Lay a piece of yarn on the fish (below the eyes) to make a mouth. Use some glue to hold it in place.

To promote tactile perception, you can let the child finger paint the paper bag instead of using other media.

Felt Bird

The first step is to cut all the shapes out of the felt. Using a pencil, draw the shapes onto the felt so that you know where to cut. You will need two of each the bird’s body, eyes, wings, and beak.

The bird body can be as detailed or as simple as you would like. For the wings, cut out two heart shapes, and for the beak, two small triangles. For the eyes cut two slightly larger circles out of white felt and two smaller circle out of black felt.

Once all the pieces have been drawn and cut, take a few cotton balls and lay them on top of one of the body pieces.

Place some glue all around the edge of the bird shape and stick the other body piece on top, pressing around the edges so that the cotton balls are in the middle, creating stuffing.

Stick the two wing shapes on either side of the body.

On the head of the bird, first stick a white circle on each side of the head, then on top of this, stick the black circles.

Take the beak shapes and stick these on the front of the bird. You will need to stick the two beak pieces to each other as well as the head of the bird.

Paper Roll Sheep

Cut out an oval for the head of the sheep from the construction paper using the scissors.

The oval should be about half the length of the toilet roll tube.

Stick masking tape on the underside of the head and stick onto the inside of the tube. Then put some on the top of the head and onto the top of the tube.

Paint the head using black paint and stick on the wiggle eyes.

Take the masking tape and stick two of the sticks on each side of the tube to create legs.

Cover the tube in glue and stick on the cotton balls.

Feel the Turkey

On brown contraction paper, draw the turkey’s body.

On different colors construction paper draw 6-7 turkey feathers.

Place a variety of materials with different textures on the table. I used cotton balls, Velcro, buttons, felt, dry beans, googly eyes, and feathers.

Ask the child to cut the turkey’s body and feathers. Then, have him glue the feathers to the back of the body. You can also let the child draw the turkey’s face on.

Present the child with different materials. Talk about the different textures (soft, smooth, rough, ticklish, etc.). Ask the child to glue a few pieces from each material on each of the turkey’s feathers.

You can use this turkey as a seasonal tactile board. Gobble, Gobble!

Touch and Match

For the purpose of describing the activity, we chose beans and foam sheets. You can use any media you would like to fill up your container (i.e. corn kernels, cotton balls, macaroni, bird’s seeds, send, etc.)and any objects to hide (i.e.buttons, pom-poms, pegs, coins, etc.).

Use the foam sheets and cut pairs of different shapes (you can also use different color sheets and cut a pair of the same shape in each color). Fill up the container with the beans. Hide one shape from each pair inside the container and place the other shape in front of the child.

Have the child dig his hands through the beans and find the matching shapes, taking them out one shape at a time.