Critter Catch Activity is a quick and easy activity to implement. Perfect for a rainy spring day! This activity can be set up in multiple ways, according to the child’s needs at that moment. This type of activity will help your child in the mastering of fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. It also fosters imaginative play!
Here is what I used for this activity.
- square of play grass
- toy insects (any critters will do)
- clothes pin (or tongs, or large children’s tweezers)
- little bucket (or bowl, cup or other container)
I found these little squares of artificial grass at the dollar store. There were 4 different types to choose from. These were the 2 that I chose to use.
Spread the artificial critters in the grass. I have used a little bucket, but, you can literally use anything to put the bugs in. A cup, bowl, tupperware container or even a little fabric bag are all adequate substitutions. The goal of this activity is to “catch” the bugs with the clothes pin and place it into the bucket!
By doing so, your child is working on the fine motor skills by being able to hold the clothes pin, and also strengthening their eye hand coordination. The eyes and hand have to work together to successfully “catch” the bug. Keep in mind that I used a clothes pin, but alternatively, you could also use large tweezers or even small tongs catch the bugs.
If you have read my activity posts before, you know that I preach about how important a beautiful play station is because it acts like an invitation to play! I feel this is VERY IMPORTANT to engage the child’s attention. This is NOT to say that you have to spend tons of money! Quite the opposite actually! A beautiful play station simply means that it is a safe and organized, well set up place for the child to explore.
If this activity is set up for one child, you can use all of the grass sections together. If you are setting this up for multiple children, each child would get one section along with the same amount of supplies for each child, to avoid frustration.
When I implemented this activity in a childcare setting, I had placed 4 stations at a table. Each station had a tray which housed the grass square, a bucket, some critters and the clothes pin. In the center of that table, I placed real plants that we had at the center. This added a cozy nature feel to the table and the children loved it.
I have also had success with placing this activity into a larger sensory bin, again with enough material for 2 or 4 children and placed artificial plants that had flowers and leaves that hung down and attached them to the ceiling. Another wonderful addition is to add a nature sound CD as background noise!!! This added an element of reality to the activity.
One thing to keep in mind is that some children may not want to catch the insects. I have had children who just wanted to play with the bugs! THIS IS FINE! Imaginative play is another important part in the learning process!
Have fun with it!
Until my next post,