By Nandi Kollock, Services Intern


This activity has been a hit at community events across Shanghai. You can use this activity to develop motor and speech skills. You can play with one child up to a small group. Adjust the instructions to suit your child’s needs or practice your own chopsticks skills!


  • 2-5 Large Bins
  • 1-5 Small bowls
  • 10-100 multicolored ping pong balls
  • Items to pick up the ping pong balls: Chopsticks, spoon, fork, scoops –whatever works for the child(ren) participating in the activity
  • Water
  • Dish Detergent

Set Up Intructions:

  1. 1. Take the large bin(s) and fill a third of the way from the top with water.
  2. 2. Then take the dish detergent and and squeeze the contents into the bin(s) of water for about 3 seconds.             And then mix the water and dish detergent around to make bubbles.
  3. 3. Place the ping pong balls at random into the bin(s).
  4. 4. Place small bowls, chopsticks, spoons, and forks either within reach for you or the children to grab themselves.


Game Rules:

1. The children should use one of the utensils of their/your choice to move the ping pong balls. Toddlers can use their hands.

2. If the ping pong ball falls to the ground before they can get it to its destination, they can either use their utensil to continue to move it or put it back in the bin to try again.

3. Suggested game rules:

a. Move all the same color ball from one large bin to another (e.g. move all red balls into the other bin).

b. Remove all the same color ball from the large bin, placing in a small bowl (e.g. remove all yellow balls and put into a bowl).

c. You could also have a relay with multiple children working together. At one bin the first child must move one color to the next large bin, the next child must move the same color to the next large bin, and in the last large bin, the last child must move the the same color ball into the cup.

d. Race 1. Assign each child their own bin and ask them to remove the same color (just make sure they are evenly matched with their motor skills & the number of balls).

e. Race 2. Assign each child a bin. Call out a color to remove. Whoever removes it the fastest from their own bin wins. You can do this as many rounds as you would like and keep score if the children are equally matched.

f. Make up your own games to challenge your child and have some soapy fun!