Need help entertaining a toddler? Grab that empty box and make some of your own cardboard coins!
Toddlers are not the easiest to entertain. They need a lot of supervision and help to learn. They are constantly putting things in their mouth and making a mess. They love exploring new objects and my 13-month-old loves trying to figure out how to put things inside of containers. He is constantly opening and closing containers and trying to figure out how things fit inside.
That is why I made this cardboard coin drop activity for my 13-month-old to help him learn and explore a new object!
You need to make some cardboard coins for your toddler!
This idea first came to me when I was inspired by a fellow OT on Instagram @OT_Mama_of_Twins. She has awesome baby and toddler play activities!! She was doing this activity with her twin boys who were older at the time with a deck of cards. This was too hard for my son to do on his own, so we made our own cardboard coins! They were sturdier and he was able to more independently put them into a slot opening. They also held up better when he would put them in his mouth.
How do you set it up?
(This list contains affiliate links which means if you click a link and make a purchase we will receive a commission and this greatly helps out our family. Please read my disclosure statement for further details.)
- Empty cardboard box
- X-Acto Knife for cutting out the circles
- a container with a slot opening to put the coins in (we got our Valentine’s mailbox from the Target dollar spot, but this is a similar Valentine’s mailbox from Amazon)
- You could use a recycled container with a lid on it that you could cut a slot opening such as a Quaker Oats container.
Cutting out the cardboard coins does take a little extra time, but they last for quite a while for extra play time so it is worth it!
Look at those little hands holding onto the coin 🙂
What is the Goal with this Activity?
The goal with this cardboard coin posting activity is to work on putting the coins inside the container through the slot opening.
In the first picture, my son is taking the coins out from the larger opening on the back of the mailbox. The first step when working with maniuplatives is taking things out.
The next pictures shows the mialbox
What are they learning?
It looks like such a simple activity, but it is so much more! With this simple activity they are learning so many skills:
- Hand-eye coordination to place the coins into the slot opening
- Visual motor skills with tracking how the coins go into the opening
- Attention span-concentrating on getting the coins into the opening
- Problem solving-figuring out how the coins go into the container
- Language Development-talk with your child while doing the activity, place words with the actions that they are doing such as, “put in”.
- Following directions-they are following a simple direction to put the coins in.
Just because an activity doesn’t look like much, doesn’t mean it isn’t full of great learning opportunities!
How can I make this easier or harder for my child?
- If you have a child that is having a hard time putting the coins into a slot opening, make the opening bigger. This will give them a better chance of getting to the coins into the opening by themselves.
- Model the behavior you want your child to complete. Show them how to put the coins into the opening.
- Use hand over hand-place your hand over the child’s hand to help guide the coin into the opening.
- Place the coin into the opening the correct way and have the child drop it into the opening.
- Help hold the container for the child.
- If you have a child that needs more of a challenge with this activity try these suggestions out!
- Use a deck of cards instead of cardboard to put into the slot opening.
- Place the coins around the room for the child to go get one at a time to work on following directions and gross motor skills as well.
- Place the container in a position where they have to stand to put the coins/cards inside.
- Make it a crawling game, where they have to crawl over pillows to get the cards to put in.
- Make it a race to put the coins/cards in as fast as they can and time them.
- Write letters or numbers on the coins and they can put them into the opening in order
The possibilities are endless!!
Have I convinced you to make some cardboard coins to play with your toddler?? When will you make some cardboard coins?
X-ACTO #2 Knife With Safety CapLotFancy Playing Cards, Decks of Cards, Poker Size Standard Index, for Blackjack, Euchre, Pinochle Card Game, Blue and Red ColorHorizon Group LLC Hugs Hearts and Kisses Valentine’s Day MailboxQuaker Oats, Old Fashioned, 18 Oz