Pom-poms. Maybe there’s a jar full of them in your classroom closet, or maybe you just can’t resist them in the $1 bins at Target? It seems as though these little balls of fluff are as much a classroom staple as pencils, dry erase markers, and tissue boxes! While they are a familiar sight to many teachers, some of us are left scratching our heads as to what to actually do with them. If only there were a blog with some fun and handy ways to use pom-poms in the classroom!
We heard you, and we’ve come up with the goods.
Creative Ways to Use Pom Poms in the Classroom
From craft activities to math manipulatives, the usefulness of pom poms is endless! Take a look at these suggestions, and see how you can make use of these fuzzy friends.
#1 Subitizing Fun
Grab a pair of tongs, and have some subitizing fun! Counting and grouping with pom-poms is so engaging for little hands.
Your students can sort pom-poms by color or by size. Or hit the dollar store to find ice cube trays with cute shapes, then have your students count out equal amounts into each of the shapes!
We even have a Subitizing Animal Activity that encourages your students to reinforce their understanding of subitizing small collections of dots on a die.
#2 Decorate Your Clock
A bright classroom is a happy classroom!
Up your classroom clock game by jazzing up a boring wall clock with some pom-poms! We’ve used hot glue to make our classroom clock just a little bit brighter. Putting darker pom-poms on every quarter of the hour helps younger kids memorize the positions of the numbers on the clock that much more quickly too!
#3 Fine Motor Practice with Pom Poms
When paired with tweezers, pom poms make ideal fine motor practice manipulatives, due to their size and soft nature. We’ve even created a set of Fuzzy Friends Fine Motor Activity Cards for your students to work with!
Aren’t these guys the cutest?!
#4 Warm Fuzzies
This is a wonderful way to use pom-poms for some positivity in your classroom!
Warm fuzzies are little critters that accumulate in your room when your students do kind and thoughtful things. This behavior management technique is a great way to incorporate positive reinforcement into your classroom routine.
Whenever a student does something kind or thoughtful, a warm fuzzy ‘appears’ on their desk, which they can then add to the warm fuzzy jar. Once the jar is full of warm fuzzies, your class can enjoy a special treat or reward!
#5 Whiteboard Eraser
If you’re lucky enough to have some miniature whiteboards and markers for your students, then you may be familiar with the old ’tissue/whiteboard eraser substitute’. This isn’t very good for your classroom tissue box supply count, and it’s certainly not great for the environment either!
Solution? Use pom-poms as whiteboard erasers! It’s a fabulous way to ensure your students never have to reach for a tissue to clean their whiteboards again. Hot glue a pom-pom to each whiteboard marker lid to be used over and over!
#6 Quiet Critter Pom Poms
Maybe the desk pets have taken over your classroom. Maybe not. This is a variation of the concept.
The ‘Quiet Critters’ method of behavior management is particularly suited to younger students!
You can implement this in your classroom so easily: Dress up 3 pom-poms per student as the ‘quiet critters’. When the students are quiet, the critters come out to play and keep them company on their desks! If the noise level gets too high, the critters get scared and want to run away and hide… the only way to bring them back is to maintain a quiet environment! You can gift the critters to students who may need particular encouragement to remain calm and quiet or provide them to the whole class.
#7 Arts and Crafts
Crafting with pom-poms. There are so, so, so many options!
We just couldn’t go past this adorable little cactus pom-pom craft activity! Simply gather up your green pom-poms, find something to use as a ‘plant pot’ and you’re set. Why not add some cute smaller pom-poms as flowers?
#8 Pattern Activity Pom Poms
One wonderfully simple, yet effective, way to use pom-poms in the classroom is to use these colorful tools to teach patterns!
Your students can create patterns based on colors, size, or even texture of pom-poms.
We’ve published the Fuzzy Friends Repeating Pattern Activity Cards to help your students get a head start on patterning with pom-poms. These fuzzy friends are an adorable and eye-catching way to get your students thinking!
#9 Voting in the Classroom
Finally, you don’t have to pull out all the bells and whistles to make pom-poms useful! Set up a voting system in your classroom in which students use pom-poms to cast their vote on a particular topic.
This can be anything, from which book they’d like you to read next, to who they want to be the next line leader! Using pom-poms to facilitate democracy in the classroom is a great way to introduce lessons on democracy or even just data collection.