Play With Me: Purposeful Work [Part 3]

By: Shannon Mallery, Mature Adults Master Program Specialist

We're continuing our Play With Me: Purposeful Work Series and the next activity will be Pouring. If you haven't read our previous blog posts featuring Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, make sure to take a look back before continuing with these activities. We have also prepared a document of Tips for Virtual Communication that you can review, specifically related to this Play With Me series. If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact Shannon Mallery at Shannon.Mallery@DurhamNC.Gov.

Pouring Activity

These activities are designed for children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old. Before getting started, parental assistance will be needed to help collect and setup supplies. Consider sending the supply list ahead of time so the parent can prepare in advance. Also keep in mind, it is most ideal for you and the child to have the same set of supplies.

  • Small pitcher with colored water (you can use food coloring) or liquid such as grape or orange juice
  • Small pitcher with rice
  • Two small cups
  • One short mug
Let's Play
Do the activity first so that the child can see what you are doing.
  • Pour the rice into the mug, pour it back into the pitcher.
  • Pour half of the rice into each of the cups. Pour it back into the pitcher.
  • Pour the water into the mug. Pour it back into the pitcher.
  • Pour half of the water into each cup. Pour it back into the pitcher.
Once you have finished, ask the child to do what you did.
Ask the child to listen to the sound the water and rice make as they are being poured.
You and your child can repeat this as many times as is fun for you both.
Once you are both done you can talk with the child about this activity. Ask them:
  • How did you feel when you were pouring? Did you have to concentrate, did you feel excited, important, grown-up, nervous?
  • Did you want to touch the water and rice more than pour it?
  • Do you remember what sounds the rice and water made when you were pouring them? Were the sounds different from each other? How?
  • Which was easier to pour the rice or the water? Why?
  • Was it hard to fill the glasses half way? Did it look easier to do then to actually do?

Make it easier!
For very young children alter the activity so that they soak up the liquid with a sponge and then squeeze it into a bowl. For the rice have them pour it from one bowl to another bowl so that they do not need to be very accurate in pouring.

Up for a challenge?
For a child that is a little older and knows what a half,  quarter,  third etc. is you may want to challenge them by calling out randomly half, quarter, three quarters etc. and have them pour the amount you say. See if they can pour the correct amount ten times in a row without missing one.

Pouring is always a hit! Water, rice what could be more fun!

Thanks for participating and we hope you are able to have meaningful virtual conversations with the loved ones in your life. Stay tuned for another blog post next week that starts the Play With Me: Art series.