Tag Archive | learning toys

A Match Made in Farmland

Welcome back, I hope you all had a lovely weekend!  Today’s post in another topic I’ve been wanting to share; how to do puzzles with babies!

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Clever Clovers curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: Farm Animals

Activity Description: Puzzles: Complete farm animal puzzles together.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Cognitive

Specific Skill: Matching

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 17 months + 1 Week

1. Our warm up activity was signing, as usual, using the farm animal figurines as props.  They really like it and I’ve noticed they are trying to actually sing along more.  I hear the occasional word but it is mostly babbling with a kind of “singing” voice.  It’s nice to see this progression…..karaoke, here we come! (anybody who knows me, knows I love karaoke!)

2. The first thing I do with the puzzles is review the animals and sounds.  This can be helpful because even if your baby knows how to recognize all of the animals in one setting (ex. on tv, in real life, as toy figurines, etc.) the same animals in cartoon (in a book or a puzzle piece) might not fit the exact image they recognize. – They might look different to your baby.

3. My girls find puzzles challenging.  They need a lot of support to complete puzzles successfully so the first thing I do, is take away all the pieces.  Then I choose one, show it to the baby (while naming it) and ask the baby to find it on the puzzle board.  This makes the task as easy as possible because the baby only has one thing to try to do (find the animal that I asked).  After the baby finds the animal, then I give her the puzzle piece so that she can place it in.  If she needs help putting it in, I help with that too.  So cute – around 1:00 minute, if you listen closely, you’ll hear M say “cock-a-doodle-doo” to the picture of a rooster.

 

4. In case you are wondering why the above video only features M, it is because O either didn’t want to cooperate or genuinely couldn’t find what I was asking.  (It’s hard to tell with O because she is the kind of person who often doesn’t like to do things because she is being asked to).  There have been countless times where it seems like she doesn’t understand and then if I go away and come back, she will have it completed – with extra bells and whistles!……… then there are times where she actually doesn’t understand….so she keeps me on my toes, for sure.

Anyway, I included this video of O to show how to add more support if your baby is having difficulty.  First you will see me name the incorrect things she points to (I don’t just say no, I name it and ask again).  Next you will see that she is distracted by the other pieces, so I take those away.  After that, you will see me ask if she needs help (I tell her where it is).  And lastly, I help her place it in correctly.  With all of the support, she is able to complete the task and she is happy about it.

 

5. Here is another method I use to try to explain matching.  I put the puzzle pieces directly next to the spot where they need to be placed.  This is another technique you can use to offer support.

…..O had a bit of a meltdown because M was sitting on her hand, then M started crying and I decided it was time for a nap!

 

As they continue to grow and learn, I will gradually take away the support….and eventually I will move in the other direction to make puzzles even more challenging for them.  I hope this helps you!

 

 

 

Colour us Happy!

We have come to the end of our third week using the Primary Colours (+1) activity plan from Clever Clovers.  (We decided to do a third week to give them more practice).  I can definitely say they have not mastered the four colours presented to them but it’s been a good start (colour is probably the most abstract thing I’ve tried to teach them, and was bound to take time).  Anyway, it’s time for our final project today which is making coloured sensory toys!  So much fun…..and a bit messy!

Every other Friday I blog about our final project (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: Primary Colours (+1)

Activity Description: Create colourful sensory toys! Allow your baby to participate as much as possible in the creation of these toys.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Creative, Cognitive, Fine Motor, Language, Social, Emotional

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 16 months + 3 weeks

M looking at the materials for today's project with anticipation and a good amount of restraint!

M looking at the materials for today’s project with anticipation AND a good amount of restraint!

Sensory Toy #1: Oil and coloured water (we did yellow)

Use any colourless oil (baby oil works well). Pour about 1-2 cm of oil into the bottle and add coloured water. (don’t fill it completely). Hot glue the lid on. Have fun shaking it and watching it separate.

M adding yellow food colouring to water

M adding yellow food colouring to water

M pours colourless oil

M pours colourless oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O pouring in the yellow water

O pouring in the yellow water

 

O points to the oil that is separating

O points to the oil that is separating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensory Toy #2: Water, glitter and beads (we did blue) 

Place clear water, glitter (visual effects) and beads (audio effects) into a bottle (glitter & beads should be the same colour). Quantities are up to you but allow for movement in the bottle. Seal lid with hot glue.

O pours the water

O pours the water

M putting in a blue bead

M putting in a blue bead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O spoons in blue gravel

O spoons in blue gravel

 

Mom gives a helping hand with the sparkles! (We all know how messy those things are!)

Mom gives a helping hand with the sparkles! (We all know how messy those things are!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O playing with the blue bottle

O playing with the blue bottle

 

Sensory Toy #3: Soap and coloured water (we did green)

Place coloured water into the bottle and add a big squirt of dish soap (the colour of the soap could affect the overall colour so using a soap the same colour as the coloured water would be best). Seal the lid with hot glue. Have fun shaking and making bubles!

Mom demonstrates how to squirt the food colouring. O & M amazed at the diffusion!

Mom demonstrates how to squirt the food colouring. O & M amazed at the diffusion!

Pouring in the green water

Pouring in the green water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O squeezes in some green dish soap

O squeezes in some green dish soap

M shows off the green bottle

M shows off the green bottle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensory Toy #3: Coloured rice (we did red)  

Place 1 teaspoon of water and some food colouring into a zip-lock bag. Pour in desired amount of rice (you don’t want the bottle too full of rice because you want it to make a sound when shaken). Mix the rice so it is all covered in colour. Pour it out onto wax paper in a thin layer and allow it to dry. Place in the bottle and hot glue the lid shut.

M spoons in the red rice

M spoons in the red rice

O shows the red bottle

O shows the red bottle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLAYING WITH OUR NEW, COLOURFUL, SENSORY TOYS

 

Mommy-led play: (you’ll see them repeating the language a bit and following instructions)

 

Baby-led play: (you’ll see them playing on their own with the toys)

 

Click here to see more activities on learning colours.

Count Me In!

Tuesdays I blog about parent/teacher hot topics & interesting info

 

Today’s Topic: A great toy for teaching counting and all sorts of other skills!

Well, our super duper Auntie E bought the babies a wonderful toy.  It’s so great that I thought I would share it.  Plus, we are learning about counting this week so it seems fitting!

So without further delay…….. Taa Daa!

counting cans

1 to 10 Counting Cans by Learning Resources!

It’s a pretty simple toy that offers a lot of flexibility and so many learning opportunities.  As toys go, it can be a bit pricey ($50.00 from Learning Resources) but the longevity of this toy would be well worth the cost for me (plus if you shop around, you can definitely find it for cheaper – I saw it on Amazon & Walmart for around $30.00)

**The box states for 3+ years because some of the parts are a bit small and could present a choking hazard.  I feel completely comfortable using this toy as supervised play with my babies at age 15 months but I would not let them play with it alone just yet. 

Here is why it is such a great learning resource:

Language Development: Vocabulary development (numbers, colours and everyday food items)

Creativity: Perfect for dramatic play (in a toy kitchen for example)

Fine Motor Skills: Removing & fastening lids, placing objects into a container, pouring, stacking

Gross Motor Skills: I had my girls run to get the food and put them into the cans (like a relay)

Emotional Learning: Sharing!!   There are lots of ways to practice sharing with this toy.

Social Learning: Co-operative play.  Have babies/children work together to fill a can or stack.

Thinking & Inquiry Skills: Count, add & subtract, match, sort, number recognition, make/complete patterns

There are many more ways to use this resource as inspiration for activities that suit all learning levels, ages and skills!  Leave a comment and share your ideas!

P.S. I am not affiliated with this product or company what-so-ever.  The opinions presented are entirely my own and I am not being compensated for writing this.