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Activity Documentation: Stack Cotton Balls

Sometimes my girls need a little bit of help winding down before bedtime, and when those nights come I love having simple, quiet activities for them to do. They had a blast playing with cotton balls before bedtime. Who knew cotton balls could be so much fun? But the best part was watching them grow more and more tired as they played, and by the end of the activity both of them were lying down. This activity made the transition to bedtime extremely easy!

They were excited to start stacking the cotton balls!

I was impressed with their stacking skills! Macie was determined to make a tower with at least 5 cotton balls, and she actually did it! Unfortunately it fell over before I was able to take a picture.

Ellie came up with the idea to lay the cotton balls on her leg. This required her to be really still, which isn't always super easy for her! She was really proud of herself when she put down the last cotton ball on her foot.

When Macie saw how much fun Ellie was having, she decided to put the cotton balls on her leg too. After Macie finished she said "let's see how long we can keep them on our legs!" This was a really fun challenge for them, and it encouraged them to sit still for a couple of minutes.

Macie used the cotton balls to practice writing out our last name.

Before long she decided to lay down as she continued spelling out words. The winding down process is nearing completion!

As Ellie grew more and more tired, she laid down and started putting the cotton balls on her tummy.

There's nothing like a cotton ball necklace! This activity was truly the perfect activity to help my girls transition to bedtime. I loved watching them go from hyper, giggly, and wild to determined, relaxed, and quiet!

►  Activity
Stack cotton balls

Idea Box

Age of child(ren)
3 & 5

Length of time spent on activity (approx.)
25 minutes

►  Materials needed/chosen
Cotton balls

►  Any prep-work? If so, what?
No prep needed since we already had cotton balls on hand.

Directions / What we did
I gave them a huge pile of cotton balls and told them to see if they could stack them. Before long they started coming up with different things to do with the cotton balls.

►  Possible ways to expand on the activity
The girls impressed me with their creativity! They came up with numerous ways to expand on the activity - from making shapes/letters out of the cotton balls to covering their legs with cotton balls. You could easily help your child make letters or numbers, or for older children you could encourage them to write out a whole word or short phrase.

►  What would you do differently next time?
I honestly wouldn't change anything about it.

What my child was able to do by themselves

►  What my child needed help with
They didn't need any help at all

►  My child's thoughts about the activity
They thought it was a lot of fun, and didn't want to stop playing!

►  Any other thoughts or info about the activity?
I was really impressed with how much the activity really helped calm them down. By the time we cleaned up the cotton balls they were truly ready to go to bed, and fell asleep within minutes of getting tucked in.

Sarah is a full time chef, maid, nurse, and entertainer to the three coolest little girls, who all happen to be under the age of 5. It might not be glamorous, but it’s truly her dream job. She's also married to her best friend, Matt, who is likely the most helpful and loving husband in the world…sorry ladies. Sarah has a love for writing, photography, crafts, sarcasm, and Mexican food. In her spare time she likes to…who is she kidding? She has NO spare time. Someday she'll enjoy traveling the world with her husband, but for now they will cherish their family game nights and their weekly date nights.

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