Snack Pour

Jul 9th, 2020

Smiley Riley

Here is a little snack time fun that will help your child work on their wrist strength and control. Your little one’s wrist strength and control starts to show improvement around 16 months. You may notice your little one has better control of using utensils at the dinner table around that time.


  • Dry cereal or small crackers such as Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies (We used Gerber Puffs)
  • Non-breakable containers of various sizes

Smiley Riley


  1. Start out by pouring snack into an open container. Set this container as well as a couple other different sized containers out in front of your child.
  2. Demonstrate how you can pour the snack between different containers. It’s okay if some snack spills out on the tray. Your child will see how you handle this and learn that it’s okay if not all of the snack makes it into the container. Your little one can eat those pieces as they drop while watching you pour the snack into different containers.
  3. Now invite your child to try pouring the snack between containers. You may have to help them get started with hand-over-hand modeling.
  4. It’s okay if the snack completely misses the container. Simply scoop up the snack and put it back in a container. For children who find this to be challenging at first, stick with large containers only. For children who are ready for more of a challenge, stick with smaller containers.
  5. As your little one explores pouring, let them, of course, nibble on snack throughout. Also, talk about what is happening using words like pour, full, empty, little, big, cereal, cup, and bowl.

Play Modifications

  • This activity is great in the sand and water table as well. Have your child practice filling up containers, and pouring water or sand into other different sized containers!

Smiley Riley

Riley’s experience

One of Riley’s favorite ways to play with her pool and water/sand table is to fill up containers and pour. She also just likes to pour the water or sand out onto the floor. During snack time, Riley enjoyed pouring her snack and then eating a few bites before pouring her snack again. Often times when Riley was trying to pour between two small containers of the same size, she would miss completely and just pour the Puffs all over her tray instead. When I had her pour from a small container into a large bowl, Riley was much more accurate.

Smiley Riley


  • Fine Motor Skills: Your child is working on their hand, finger, and wrist strength and control in this activity as they fill, scoop, and pour.
  • Hand-eye coordination: Your child is attempting to pour from one container into another container. This takes coordination and control.
  • Language development: Your child is being exposed to new vocabulary as you narrate what they are doing.
  • Cognitive development: Your child is exploring and discovering what it takes to fill different size containers. As containers are completely full, your child is discovering that they can’t add any more cereal, water, or sand to that container. As they pour from a large container into a small container (and vice versa), your child is also discovering size and that different sized containers hold different amounts.