I have seen this idea on a number of 'tot school' blogs, including 1+1+1=1 which is where I saw it first. I have no idea who started the idea, so I will give thanks to whomever thought up the idea and for the many who suggested it through their blog. This is a really, really great idea! If you have 'school' at your house or you are just trying to find an activity that will occupy your child for awhile, you have found it.
I bought colored cotton balls, 2 ice cream cups, and a pair of tongs at the Dollar Tree (where else?) for a total of 4.00. In return, I receive 3 1/2 hours of my children having fun alone and then together. No real fighting, except the occasional squabble over what way they should use the toys next, no mess, and a lot of fun!
Mustang was asked to transfer all the cotton balls from one cup to the other using the tongs. She announced she was going to transfer them one by one. She gave up on that idea quickly and scooped a bunch at a time.
Charger wasnt given any real direction and he chose to pour them from one cup to the other.
When they were done with their 'assignments' I let them go. They found a few toy cups, a toy spatula and a toy spoon. They took turns transfering from one cup to the other, from the tray to the cup, and anything else they could think of. At one point, the balls were in their toy school bus taking a trip. Without being prompted, Mustang separated them by color and put them in one color at a time. They had a lot of fun, I cant wait to try this again with new cups or with the ice cube tray!