I spent the time I usually devote to making Ayden a fun, new activity on making a gift for a 3 year old's birthday party. I bought enough supplies to make Ayden and my nephew a set too but only had time to make one. I'll definitely devote a Toddler Tuesday to it once it is made because it is loads of fun!
When I don't have the time (or energy) to make a fancy new activity, I don't sweat it. Though I know Ayden enjoys and benefits from the activities that I make for him, it doesn't mean he can't also enjoy something that is cheap and easy just as much! Heck, half he things he plays with aren't even toys at all.
This week, I decided to get out some frog erasers that I had from school. He saw a lot of real frogs during our vacation and has shown an increased interest in them ever since. At school, these would have been classified as "manipulatives." Manipulatives are anything that the child can manipulate (kind of self explanatory, I know) and can learn a wide range of skills through exploration with them.
We counted them (Ayden just says, "2, 2, 2, 2!"), worked on some one-to-one correspondence by adding some little lids for him to set the frogs in, we talked about big and little since there were two different sizes, we discussed "in and out" as we took the frogs in and of of the Baggie we keep them in. We also pretended with them, making them hop, eat and such.
For older children, you can also use them for patterning and positional words (get a small cup and have them put a frog on top, under, over, in, out, etc).
In summary, manipulatives are any group of materials with which a child can work on pre-mathematical skills, learn concepts and build vocabulary. By that definition, rocks, twigs and such would even qualify. Quick, simple, and CHEAP but very useful!
Here are a few more of Ayden's favorite manipulative activities at 19 months:
|A hungry old wipe case with multi colored pom poms.|
What are your child's favorite manipulatives?
Click here for more early childhood activity ideas!
Flashback! Here's what we were up to one year ago today: The Beginning Of The End
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