Duplo Counting Stacks!

We love anything Lego around here!  The “real” ones are the best, but Duplos have their benefits as well.  When I found this idea on All Our Days via Pinterest a while back, I knew it was going to be a winner.  Of course I needed to make my own, because I wanted to edit the idea a tad.  The main differences with the set I made was using smaller numerals and adding in the cards 7-10.  There’s just something satisfying about having a counting activity one through ten.  I designed my cards on publisher and made the Duplo pictures actual size.  This way Abby can line her stacks up to check her work while building or match them up when completed.  Duplo Counting Cards2

I laminated the cards with contact paper for long-term use.Duplo Counting Cards1

Duplo Counting CardsThese are such an excellent way for Abby to work on her counting!  This activity can also help with some basic color recognition and object order.  We were using a lot of phrases such as, “The red one goes on top of the blue one,” “The green block is at the bottom,” etc.  This is definitely something I will be reusing!

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Color Cup Sorting

Blog3Abby picked up on her colors pretty early, so our current color activities are just for reinforcement and fun!  I wanted to find some type of cheap containers/boxes to use for color sorting and finally had what I call the, “Plastic Apple Juice Cup Revelation.”  Okay, so I finally realized I was throwing away the perfect solution every week from Alidis (best grocery store ever – and yes I make it incorrectly plural).  These cups work amazingly because they are lightweight, super cheap (if you’re going to drink the juice anyway!) and don’t have anything for little ones to cut themselves on!  That was my problem with using tin cans – sharp edges!

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I simply taped a strip of colored cardstock around each cup and wrote the corresponding color on them.  I love cardstock and use it every time over construction paper.  It is more expensive, but it doesn’t rip nearly as often and the colors are so much brighter and attractive!

You can use these for sorting pretty much anything.  Some of our favorite objects to sort include: colored craft sticks from the dollar store, pom-poms, our bug manipulatives, buttons and the square Duplo pieces.  Abby will seriously play with this every single day.  Since it’s easy for her at this point, it’s a great activity for her to do on her own.  Bonus! 😉Blog2

Busy Bugs Learning Set by Discovery Toys

I LOVE THIS TOY!  It’s kind of ridiculously expensive on Amazon, but I (of course) found mine at a garage sale.  Don’t let the $2 marker on the box fool you either…. I definitely bargained and just paid a dollar. 😉  I’ve used this through multiple students and children and it is still one of blogmy favorites.  There are color sorting mats, addition mats, pattern mats, bug classification mats – it’s awesome.  If you don’t have this, start garage saling!  Just this summer, I saw the exact set at 2 garage sales.  I also bought a tub of planes, trains, boats, cars and buses for a dollar and they would work just as well for something like this.  The best part about this set is that you can create your own mats to work on whatever skills you want.  If you don’t have the bugs set, but have another similar manipulative, start making some mats that fit your child.  This is an excellent math resource!  I realize I sound like an advertisement, but this is just one of the best! 🙂

Color Wheel Matching

 

bloggy2I found the idea for this color matching game from Thrive 360 Living and it was a lot of fun to put together!  I made car and wheel templates and traced them onto rectangular pieces of white cardstock.  After using colored pencils to fill the cars in, I laminated them with contact paper for durability.  I ordered some wooden wheels over Amazon and painted those with my acrylic paints during nap time.  Eek!  I love painting things!

It’s a pretty self-explanatory activity.  You give the wheels to the child and have them put them on the matching car.  In the early stages, just have them focus on one car at a time.  Later on, you can give them the whole stack and let them at it!bloggy

Flannel Board Color Sorting

This flannel board is something I made back in college and have used over and over again.  If you want to make your own, just buy a thin piece of wood at your local lumber store and enough flannel to cover it (overlapping slightly).  Grab a buddy to help you stretch the fabric tight (you want it as tight as possible so it doesn’t bubble up) and staple gun it down.  If you have a more permanent residence (aka house), feel free to staple gun it straight onto a wall somewhere.  If we ever switch from our apartment lifestyle, you can be sure I will be attaching mine to a wall as it makes it more sturdy.

Flannel boards are excellent for story telling/retelling and all kinds of other wonderful things, but this post is about color sorting.  I printed off various pictures (I like to print off outlined images so I save on ink and get to color them in myself – I love coloring!), cut them out and laminated them with contact paper for durability.  After sticking a small piece of velcro on the back of each picture, we were ready to go!

When first introducing this activity, I would stick a color word card on the flannel board, read it, and have Abby find all of the matching objects.  For example, I would put up the word, “Blue” and she would find all of the blue pictures and put them up as well.  You can make this as easy or challenging as you want to.  If your child is struggling with it, have less colors in the pile they have to sort through.

BLOGOnce Abs had mastered finding one color, I had her start finding two colors at once and put them under the correct color as pictured.  Since we were really working on this right when she was starting to talk, it was a great way to build her vocabulary as well.  She enjoyed saying the name of each picture as she put it up.  Sometimes, I would ask her to put specific pictures up on the board.  For example, “Can you stick the green tractor up on the flannel board?”  This was reinforcing color and helping her associate a word with a picture.