Toddler Activity: Styrofoam Hammering


If you are home with the kids this summer and you feel that you have already run out of activities to entertain your toddler try this latest activity from Barbara Sher: The Games Lady. 


By Barbara Sher: The Games Lady


Styrofoam blocks provide just the right amount of resistance to hold a golf tee upright and will respond immediately to any hammer blows, so the beginner only has to hammer lightly to see results.


Take a block of Styrofoam and press in the tips of golf tees so that the head of the tee and most of its length protrudes.  Place the tees 2-3 inches apart.


Give a child a small toy wooden hammer, or a tack hammer, or any hammer you feel comfortable with him using. If you don’t have a small size hammer, you can use a rock.

Show him how to hammer the tee into the block.

Show him how he can pull the hammered tees back out of the Styrofoam, place them in another unused area of the block, and hammer again.

Once the process is learned, have the children take turns or have one child hand the tees to the other to pound or have the children take turns being the one who hammers and the one who pulls the tees out.


1) Use screws and a screwdriver.

2) Don’t use a hammer, but have children press the tee in with their fingers.

3) Use flat top roofing nails instead of golf tees.


There’s nothing like hammering to hammer home the concept of eye-hand coordination. To be effective, you have to watch what you are doing!

Children get the experience of being part of another’s project by handing them the next tee.


Children who have difficulty sharing and taking turns might need to start this game by playing alone until they have had a satisfactory amount of turns. Once the newness wears off, they might be more willing to take turns.

Using the variation of pushing the tees in with their hands will work better for children who do not yet have the eye-hand coordination to aim the hammer. If you use this method, place the tee in an already made hole so that it slips down more easily.



Game published in Barbara Sher’s Book Early Intervention Games p151

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