A fun activity for your toddler

Your 16-month-old is finding that he can do more and more with his hands and fingers these days (like scribbling, turning the pages of a book, and maybe using a spoon and fork). He'll get a kick out of this rudimentary sewing activity, which requires grasping and pulling. A paper plate and ribbons doesn't sound like much, but you'll be surprised at how much fun they can be!
Good for age: 16 months (but older and younger kids might enjoy it, too!)
Skills developed: teamwork, taking turns, fine motor skillslanguage
What you'll need: a paper plate, scissors, various ribbons
Cut a small hole in the center of the paper plate. Thread a ribbon a short way through the hole so that just the tip is poking out. Show your toddler how to pull the ribbon all the way through the plate. Once he gets it out, give him some enthusiastic congratulations, and start another ribbon. Describe the ribbons as you work. For example, "Let's try the purple [or long, thick, thin, green, shiny, or polka-dotted] ribbon this time."
After you've done this for a while, try tying several ribbons together to make one long ribbon, and hold the plate for him as he pulls it (he may need to walk or cruise to get the ribbon all the way out). Work on turn-taking by suggesting, "Now it's Sam's turn to hold the plate and Mommy's turn to pull," and see if he'll hold the plate for you while you pull the ribbon through.
Funny, sometimes it's the simplest things in life that are the most fun.