What is in a pompom anyway?
Those fluffy little things that come on hats, sometimes on clothing and little decorative things, on objects, scarves, keyrings, and lots more. They come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes messy and sometimes not, sometimes big, and sometimes small, sometimes colourful and sometimes in just one colour. You can make them by hand, using cardboard, a fork, a box, or even a pompom machine (can you believe it). But did you know they are more than just a ball of wool! To me, I see endless possibilities from these small fuzzy little things that benefit your overall holistic development.
Let’s take a moment and break down the process of the pompom. You can use the old technique we all recall doing in school which uses 2 cardboard cut-out circles and wrapping wool around and around for a period of time. This process alone is very mindful and can be very soothing. Round and round and round and round in a repetitious motion. You are focused and concentrating. Then of course comes my favourite part personally, trimming and shaping your original pompom. Careful at first, you cut and tie the middle part together but once that is done you are off and trimming to the size that you wish. Side to side around in a circle you can trim off the excess wool to create this perfect little ball of fluff. How cute, right?! And you did this alone, no help just you and you should be proud. Go you!! The time you spent on this pompom has given you some time back to unwind and let your mind rest from the busy lives we live in today. You feel somewhat refreshed and ready to face what comes your way. This mindful moment is important, and you are thankful for allowing the calmness of it all to wash over you.
Now, that was just the beginning, a pompom for me I see infinite opportunities that can be used to support individuals, children and so much more. Make a bunch of different colours and sized pompoms and BAM! you can use them as an educational tool (all the time still very fun and enjoyable).
- Can you count all the red pompoms?
- Let’s line up in order of size from biggest to smallest, then smallest to biggest.
- Which one is bigger/smaller?
- How many do we have in total?
All beneficial for numeracy as well as understanding early concepts of mathematics such as shape, size, addition, and subtraction. If we dig a little deeper, it is clear to me same can be said for literacy.
- Let’s create our names using pompoms, I will line mine up like a snake and create an ‘S’ shape.
- How about colours can you name all the colours we see?
- What materials did we use to create this pompom, can you list them off?
Sensory play is another area of exploring with pompoms. The different types of materials you can use to make a pompom can create a different form of discovery for children. For instance, using plastic bags cut into strips or wool, a softer feeling and even using ribbon and newspaper all bring about a different experience for the individual. Sensory promotes social and emotional skills, a child can express their like or dislike to the material. They could use it to play with, imaginative play and create little people using the pompom. Investigating new ideas and addressing experiences through their play with the pompoms is a great way for them to work through things they are interested in or even want to learn about further. Or even today that lovely beanie hat with the detachable pompom can be a conversational starter for mental health.
So now these are just my thought on the pompom, don’t knock it until you try it. Give it a go, make a pompom, and remember to take the time to breathe in the experience as you make one. Slow down, take it easy and be kind to yourself. From one pompom creator to another, enjoy!
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