Jars, Marbles, and Pom Poms

As I was putting together a sensory tray for J this week, I ran across a baby food jar of red glass gems.  We used this jar several months ago as a play toy for J.  He loved dumping them out and putting them back in (over and over and over again).

I thought…”hum, I wonder how I can add to this activity?”.  I quickly grabbed three more jars and filled them up too.  Two of them were filled with yellow and green pom poms, and the other one with clear marbles.


I wanted there to be a difference of texture, weights, and color.  I put them on a cookie sheet so that the marbles wouldn’t roll off the table.


It was a total spur of the moment activity and I wasn’t really sure what he was going to do with them.  Let me tell you, it was an amazing sight to see!


At first he dumped them all out.  I hope he noticed how the marbles made loud noises when they fell and the pom poms didn’t.


The rest of the time he sorted everything out…kind of.  The red marbles got their own container and the rest he put all together. 


He put the marbles and pom poms into one jar and then dumped it all into another jar.


The amazing part wasn’t what he did, it was how he acted.  He was totally quiet…not a single sound was made.  He was so focused on the task at hand that he didn’t even acknowledge my presence for 30 minutes!


I simply tracked his behavior by saying things like  “oh, you’re putting that green pom pom in the jar”, “now your dumping them all into that jar”, “the red gems go there”, etc.. 

Statements like these let him know that I am watching and that I see the importance in what he is doing.  It makes me involved without being intrusive or disruptive of his play. 

After 30 minutes, he snapped out of his concentration, looked at me, and said “all done”.  The abruptness of it was startling, but I followed his lead and we cleaned up and went on our way.

Who knew such a simple, spur of the moment activity could be so successful?


  1. love it! simple and fun!

  2. I love love love this. I love how simple it is and I can totally picture my Boogie becoming engrossed in an activity like this too. I am a new follower and I would love for you to share it at my tray link party!


    • Thank you for sharing this at WOTT! I need to get my 7 month old to eat some more baby food so I can do this with Boogie. This week we are dumping and pouring rice and soy beans for Chinese New Year and he is loving it!

  3. Love this post! Marble fun is ALWAYS great! Visiting from TGIF. I’d love to invite you to link up with us for Fun Stuff Fridays. http://www.toysinthedryer.com/2012/01/fun-stuff-fridays-7.html

  4. Isn’t it awesome to watch little people while they hard at work in their play?! And I love how you were present with him during this activity, even though he didn’t necessarily interact with you this time. :o)

  5. Nicole says:

    I love this, so simple and fun for little ones! I will be giving it a try for sure!! Thanks for sharing.

  6. What fun – i love how busy kids are at this age!
    Beth (TGIF)

  7. He has no idea how much he is learning. What a wonderful way to play.

  8. That’s cool. You know you made an awsome activity if they are so into it that they just ignore you.

  9. Carrie says:

    Oooh, how fun!! Thank you so much for sharing it at Sharing Saturday!

  10. Morgan says:

    I just found your blog and I LOVE it, the title is way too adorable! I am happily following you via GFC. ~ Morgan @ http://www.tottreasuresnorthbay.blogspot.com.

  11. What a great activity- he didn’t put anything in his mouth???? ;-) Thank you for sharing your ideas with us on The Sunday Showcase

    • Amanda says:

      He actually didn’t put anything in his mouth. I think he was too engaged in manipualating the objects with his hands to put them in his mouth. I am always close by when using choking hazards just in case.

  12. That is so cool that he was so focused on this. You never know what is going to catch their interests. Thanks for sharing on Monday Madness.

  13. this looks like a lot of fun, my son would love this. Shame I’ve chucked out all the little jars, might have to hunt around.


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