Sometimes ordinary household materials inspire you to create an activity for your busy little toddler on a cold winter day. I recently saw an activity on the Instagram of New Trick Kids that I wanted to try. It involved q-tips and a funnel. So, I went looking for our funnel and found an empty milk jug instead. I saved it a few months ago with no real purpose in mind. We don’t get milk jugs often though and I knew I would come up with something.

I had no luck finding the funnel so I grabbed the milk jug and decided to use it somehow. I knew putting q-tips through the opening wouldn’t last long so I decided to use pom poms instead. And that’s how this activity got its start. I did eventually find the funnel at bath time. I forgot that it makes a great bathtub toy.

Milk Jug Snowfall


  • Empty milk jug
  • White pom poms (or cotton balls)


  1. Cut the milk jug into two parts.
  2. The bottom part will be used to hold the pom poms.
  3. The top part will be used for a push through activity. You can use the top in either direction to create a fun activity for your little one.

Babies (0-1)

Older babies can push the pom poms through the milk jug top. (Careful supervision.)

Turn the top upside down and use it to hold bigger pom poms.

Toddlers (1-3)

Use blue and white pom poms to work on color identification. Ask your little one to put a certain color into the container.

Count the pom poms as you put them into the milk jug top.

Practice pushing the pom poms through while the jug top is sitting flat. Then, pick it up and turn it around and watch the pom poms fall trough.

Use different sized pom poms and see which ones fit through. Make sure that some are easy and that some don’t fit.

Preschoolers (3-5)

Use smaller pom poms or even beads if your child is older. Put the lid on the top of the milk jug and turn it upside down. Fill it up. Remove the lid and watch it “snow” everywhere.

Use two different colors of pom poms and create patterns before pushing them into the milk jug top.

Use multiple milk jugs. Assign a color to each one and practice sorting different colored pom poms.

Create simple addition problems with the pom poms. “First I put two snowballs into the jug. Then, I put three snowballs into the jug. How many snowballs are under the jug?” (Put 2 snowballs in. Put 3 snowballs in. Then, lift the jug and count how many are under it.)

Predict how many pom poms will fit under the jug top. Then, fill it as full as you can and count how many it took.

This was a fun activity that I plan to bring back out from time to time. I’ve provided some extensions for different ages but I always recommend letting your little learner create their own games and activities with the materials. Just make sure you’re there for supervision when small parts are involved!

This fun activity uses two items that you likely have in your house. It helps kids practice their fine motor and counting skills while having fun on a cold winter day.