Grandma bought us this Eric Carle board way too early for the boys to play with it as intended but last week I did get Graham to make one game out of it that he actually was interested in.
I found a pack of these painter palates at our local Daiso store for a buck and I’d been waiting for inspiration on what to do with them. Well I finally paired them up with the cards from the game.
It’s a set of brown bear characters with pairs of each animal. So I put one animal in each cup of the tray and showed Graham how to find the matching set, pick it up and put it in the tray.
We started with just three slots to match but within 10 minutes Graham was hooked and pairing up all the cards for two trays. I had two trays out so the boys could each have one but Miles either didn’t get it or just wasn’t interested in the moment. While Miles went off to play with trucks I didn’t sweat it. I didn’t force Miles to try again, I didn’t stress about how Graham was learning a new task while Miles was missing out. I just lived in the moment with Graham and reveled in seeing their skills growing.
I was actually surprised that Graham could do this task correctly, even with several of the animals being very similar looking (penguin and polar bear or red dog and red horse) he correctly made the matches, put them in the tray the right way and moved down the row. It’s really wild to see them becoming more and more of little people instead of just toddling babies.
Now if only I could keep them stimulated often enough that boredom doesn’t get the best of them (causing fights, tears and stressed out mommy).
If you have a toddler, try out different activities with them to see where they’re at developmentally, you might be surprised! And there’s no reason to worry, try something new and if it doesn’t stick put it away for a week and try again later. There’s no need to buy any fancy kits or spend time making an elaborate game, use tasks you have every day around your house. Perhaps you could buy green and red grapes, mix them up and practice sorting them out. Or you could try throwing pom poms into bowls put in different spots around the living room for motor skill practice. Maybe even make a game of practicing zippers or buckles by doing a treasure hunt around the house looking for all the zippers you can find; you start the zipper and they can pull it up the rest of the way, or they pull the zipper down and you undo the fastener. Get creative!