10 Fun Pipette Activities for the Under 3s

Do you have a pipette or dropper in your cupboard or drawer? Let's put it to use!

Using a pipette or dropper can help the child's developing fine motor skills including building hand strength and coordination. I've given my toddler (2yrs) a choice of pipettes and basters and he mostly chooses the Twisty Droppers and the clear pipettes. When he was younger he would often use the Jumbo Droppers. Our Twisty Droppers are c/o Modern Teaching Aids.

Australian Sources: 1. Clear Pipettes, 2. Jumbo Droppers, 3. Plastic Baster, 4. Giant Blue Pipette, 5. Twisty Droppers, 6. White Melamine Trays, 7. Small Glass/Pyrex Bowls.

Here are ten pipette (and dropper) activities that we've been having fun with!

1. Painting on paper towel. We have used liquid water colour paint but food colouring in water works just as well, be careful this may stain.

2. Vinegar and baking soda experiment. The baking soda is in the tray and I've coloured the vinegar with food colouring.

3. Transferring and using precision. I was thinking of using this tray for colour mixing as I put out yellow, red and blue paint but Otto only wanted to use the blue and he concentrated really hard to fill up all the compartments without spilling, that takes a lot of control!

4. Water play - with a little food colouring and bubbles. We often do this with just plain water add a few measuring cups and spoons and my toddler loves it. You could also do this in the sink or in the bath.

5. Water play with a jumbo pipette (a.k.a baster). The baster is fun too!

6. Milk and dishwashing liquid experiment. This is super fun but perhaps best for older children. When using a pipette my toddler likes to use it again and again but this experiment is over with only a couple of drops. The dishwashing liquid disperses the colours in the milk which makes a marbling like effect.

7. Watering sprouts - or other seeds or plants. This is fun on so many levels. Watering allows the child to observe the growth every day and the child is also learning about the needs of plants.

8. Colour play - using paint palettes. I've done this before with ice cube trays too. You can start with two colours, three primary colours and build up.

9. Adding water to ochre (or powder paint) for painting. Our ochre comes in a powder so this is a nice way for the toddler to become involved in turning it into a liquid. Once in a liquid paint form the child can use it for painting. Any child safe powered paint could be used or even a little clay/mud. 

10. Transferring water from bowl to bowl. This is simple and easy to set up. The child has to concentrate and work hard to transfer the water using the pipette only.

Want more ideas? How about:

11. Add colouring to shaving cream for sensory play - put shaving cream in a tray and add food colouring with a pipette then use like a sensory tray. 

12. Water play in the mud kitchen. 

13. Water play on concrete on a warm/dry day. The child can have fun squirting the water and making pictures with the droplets.

I'll add to this list if we find more ideas!

Suggested US Sources: 2. Jumbo Droppers, 3. Plastic Baster,  5. Twisty Droppers. Montessori Services also has a good Operating A Dropper Activity Set.

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Otto30Months Activities PracticalLife