Eye Droppers & Coffee Filters

Fine Motor: To strengthen your child’s fine motor skills through learning to use the eye droppers.

Age Groups: , , , ,

Overview

This is an activity that will encourage children to strengthen their grasping skills as they use eye droppers to create designs with food colouring.

You will need:

  • Coffee filters
  • Plastic eye droppers
    Accessibility IconClick the Accessibility bar below for details on materials that can be substituted to make this activity easier for children with a range of abilities.
  • Food colouring, diluted with water (use primary colours , red blue yellow)
  • Small dishes for the food colouring (i.e. muffin tin)
    Accessibility IconClick the Accessibility bar below for details on materials that can be substituted to make this activity easier for children with a range of abilities.
  • Smocks to protect children's clothing

Directions

1. Provide one coffee filter and one eye dropper for each child participating. Place a few small dishes containing food colouring on the table.

2. Demonstrate to the children how to squeeze the bulb of the eye dropper and then release the pressure on it so that the dropper fills up with food colouring. Explain that squeezing the bulb again helps to squirt the food colouring onto the coffee filter.

3. As the children squirt food colouring onto the coffee filter, comment on the different colours, and the new ones that get created as the original colours mix together.

4. Allow the filters to dry and then these can be displayed.

5. You are now ready to begin this activity!

Accessibility IconThe accessibility icon suggests tips, such as materials or tasks, which will make an activity easier for children with a range of abilities to practice skills that support social, emotional, gross motor, fine motor and intellectual developmental milestones.

Nurture

  • Spend time with your child by engaging in the activity with them
  • Feel encouraged to express their feelings and ideas
  • Develop pride in their developing skills

Explore

  • Explore materials by touching and manipulating them
  • Feel encouraged to experiment and make discoveries
  • Think in open-ended ways and develop their imaginations

Enriching Learning Through the Everyday Moments

  • Provide materials that encourage children to practice using the fine motor skills necessary for grasping small things (i.e. tongs for picking up cotton balls, scissors for cutting play dough snakes).
  • Activities such as sorting buttons or dried beans enable children to practice grasping small objects and releasing them.
  • Provide eye droppers, plastic turkey basters and squeezable shampoo or dish soap bottles to water play experiences. This will encourage children to strengthen their fine motor skills while experimenting with the materials.

Recommended Reading

  • The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle and A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni.