Some ideas are so simple you wonder how it’s possible you hadn’t thought of them yourself. You feel deflated and question your creativity, your sense of fun, your worth as a Mother… and then you just laugh and say who cares about all that let’s go grab some plastic balls and a pair of tongs and have some fun. So that’s exactly what Luca and I did when we came across this Toddler colour match game post from Anna at The Imagination Tree.
As Luca is only 23 months sorting the balls by colours was beyond him (he’s only just mastering two word sentences) but I was surprised at how dextrous he was using the adult size tongs to transfer the balls from the bag to the muffin tray. I think it helped that the tongs are so grippy and light despite their size. I don’t suppose OXO Good Grips had children’s play in mind when they designed their tongs but it’s a great bonus feature for an occasionally used kitchen utensil!
This was a great game for practicing hand eye co-ordination, fine motor skills and perseverance each time he dropped the ball. It occupied him for about half an hour and it was lovely to just sit back and watch him. He showed no frustration with the task and was virtually silent with concentration excepting the pointing out of ”ball, ball”. When he’s a bit older it’ll help with learning colours and counting so I’m sure we’ll return to it. When 6 year old Euan came home from school he was intrigued by the sight of the balls scattered all over the floor, the pair of tongs and the empty muffin tin. He immediately picked up the tongs and started playing his own version of sorting and dropping the balls. I love how toddler and pre-school activities never get old when you’re a child who’s simply wired for play.
The Imagination Tree website is my favourite resource for creative play ideas, especially in the school holidays as often the items you need are things you have lying around the house. The Frozen Dinosaur Eggs Sensory Play are one of our favourite activities (although we only have a couple of small dinosaurs so sometimes improvise with other toys or lego figures!). If you go and explore Anna’s site I’d love to hear which activities you enjoy.