Colander PLA Activity

PLA Activity: Colander


PLAN: 1. Read through entire activity

            2.Choose a location with minimal distractions of chores or other toys

            3. Narrow your focus on helping child practice repetition of only one Key Target

**Pretend or creative play stretches the brain for increased problem solving


ADVANCE: Follow the PLA steps with your child encouraging even the wildest uses of colander. Take turns pretending what the colander can be or how it can be used in play.


RETURN: Discuss with your child how they can alter the activity to lead a sibling/ cousin/ friend through it with a different or expanded option from the “Extended PLA”.



Items Needed



Key Targets

PRIMARY: Symbolic/ Pretend Play leading to Problem Solving


PLA Steps:

For younger children, show them the colander and ask them if they know what it is… if not, what could it be? A Helmet? When turned over, a mountain in a Lego scene?   Then show them how it is used to drain what you don’t want to keep and keep what you do.  Wash fruit or drain pasta for a meal together.  Later in the week, do an alternative option from Extended Play. 

For older children, ask them to imagine some uses for it other than what it is usually used for and act it out…we came up with a fencing mask, a beekeeper hat, and explorer’s Pith helmet, a ravine for Hotwheels… then discuss how well it operates with its created function and connect to the optional Scripture.


Optional Scripture:

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”- Romans 12:9 NIRV

(Additional Truth:  Philippians 4 especially verses 4-9 NIRV /James 1 especially vs 22-27)


Memory Association: 

When you see a colander, may it remind you to only “cling to what is good" and let the rest go far from you.


 Extended PLA: 

Repetitive exposure to the item with varying activities will strengthen the association.


Key Targets:

Functional Play, Symbolic Play, Turn taking

 -Mix water or sand in a bowl with small plastic toys, pour the bowl contents into the colander over the sink or trash or outside.  Watch the colander keep the toys and release the water or sand.  

- With a bouncy ball inside, hold the colander and move it in a circle. Roll bouncy balls or cars around inside the colander and listen to the sound it makes and feel the vibration. (Sensory)

-Place a ruler across the top of the colander to create a bridge. Try to roll the ball across without it falling into the colander. Try rolling the car. Use it to have a doll or action figure "walk" on it.

-Play catch with one person tossing clean balled up socks and the other catching them with colander

-Use the colander in the bath! Then see how easy it is to gather all the bath toys up to end bath-time by dragging the colander through the water to "catch" the toys and leave the water behind…

-Find a dark or low light area (hallway) and shine a flash light through the colander. Watch what shows up on the wall with light released through it… move closer and farther from wall to watch it change and move, grow and shrink, blur and become clear again.

-Use it to sort marbles from tiny beads. As the tiny beads fall through the colander, hold hands beneath and feel them shower your fingers. (Sensory)