Brightly-colored golf tees are a fantastic item to repurpose as toys for toddlers. To wit, here are three ways Veronika has played with them lately!
First, we used a batch of homemade play dough and I set out a tray of various items that could all poke into the dough: tees, pipe cleaners, and cut pieces of straws. This activity was great for honing fine motor skills, and it was interesting to see her discover how much easier it was to poke in the sturdy tees than the bendy pipe cleaners. “It got curly!” she said with a bit of disappointment, of the latter.
She marveled at the way a tee, on the other hand, could pass straight through a ball of play dough, from one side to the other.
After decorating some blobs of playdough, the upright tees looked like birthday candles. Thinking quickly, I pulled out a muffin tin and we made little cupcakes, dotted with candles for a stuffed animal’s party.
The next day, we pulled out the play dough again, but this time I flattened it into a base and challenged her to hammer in the tees with her toy hammer. She wasn’t as into it as I hoped, but she did like poking the tees into the second alternative I offered for a base: a few blocks of Styrofoam (the kind you can purchase for floral arrangements).
Now, the tees were standing at attention and I had a final challenge for her: To balance a marble on the cup of each one!
This took delicate fingerwork, but not only did Veronika excel at it, she absolutely loved it!
Even more fun was lining up a few marbles, and then flicking them off. She quite enjoyed the noise as the marbles plinked down.
From here, I was thrilled to see her come up with her own ways to play. She could squish a marble into the playdough, and then “hammer” it in further with a tee.
Needless to say, tees are a great way to keep a toddler busy!