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The Open School of Creative Arts

The Open School of Creative Arts
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Table Top Activities: 1. Threading Blocks

Items used: Melissa & Doug Threading Blocks Set
You will need: threading beads, blocks or similar, pieces of string

I wanted to see how Jake responded to some more focused activities. As with most 2 year olds he tends to sprawl whatever he is playing with all over the house and everything gets played with at once; puzzles don't get finished, crayons end up riding in the back of dump trucks, and the play food bits become building blocks and vice versa! While I would never stifle his ever expanding imagination and love watching him create in his little-big world, I would quite like to encourage him to be able to concentrate on one thing at a time, explore new activities and therefore develop new skills.
So we are going to have a table top activity each week; something simple that is separate from his other toys. I implemented some rules (more for me than Jake): 

1. The toy(s) stay on the table
2. Jake can play with the activity at any time, and can stop at any time
3. Whilst I'll show him the intended purpose of the toy he can play with it however he likes (as long as it stays at the table) 
4. No other toys are brought to the table

Our first table top activity is threading blocks. This lovely set is by Melissa & Doug. 

Although I showed Jake how to thread the laces through the blocks,
 he wanted to build instead! 
He spent a lot of time sorting the blocks! 


Then he began lining them up! 

His little brain is so organised!

Jake stayed around the table for a good half an hour making various patterns on the table, and building the blocks in different orders. Fascinating to watch! When he had finished with this, the blocks became 'sweets' which he served out to himself, me and "for Daddy when he gets home". 

Setting out the rules at the start definitely helped Jake stay focused on just that activity and he really enjoyed himself. Ill leave the activity out for a few days and then leave the table empty for a couple of days before bringing a new one out. 


  1. Great idea to get a child focused! I love how you mentioned that you would leave the table empty for a few days before getting a new activity out, sort of like cleansing your palate before the next course!

    1. that was my thinking Nabiha, however, when I got something new out Jake asked for these back again! Hence no 'tabletop activities 2' yet!
      Thanks for commenting!


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