Tag Archives: matching

Rainbow Sorting

It was just over two weeks ago that I changed the blocks in the playroom.  I put the heavy wooden blocks back into storage and brought out the Duplo blocks.  I also put away the big trucks that were in the block area and brought out the coloured baskets.

We’ve used these baskets for sorting colours before and because the Duplo blocks are so brightly coloured I thought the children may be interested in sorting the blocks into the baskets.  I place the baskets under the block bin and as I was putting the new blocks in the block bin I sorted them by color above the corresponding basket.

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Originally I did it ‘just for fun’.  Organizing stuff  is ‘my thing’, the little ones are usually more interested in ‘reorganizing’ but I was curious to see how long it would remain like this.  It wasn’t until I finished getting everything put away that I realized that if I had put the purple bin and miscellaneous blocks on the left side it would have been the correct rainbow colour order.  I just left it that way instead.

The next day when the first children arrived I did ask them to but the blocks away in the ‘correct’ order when they were finished playing with them.  These two school-age children are here earlier than the little ones and sometimes they have already left for school before all the preschoolers arrive.  I wanted the little ones to have the opportunity to see this particular setup.

Interestingly, two weeks later the blocks still look like this.  The younger children don’t tend to take out many blocks at one time and at clean-up time they have been able to put the majority of their blocks in the appropriate section.  The older children and I have been moving the occasional mismatched blocks and repairing the blurred lines between the sections.

The older children actually seem to like having the blocks organized.  They are the ones who are most particular about colour when they are choosing blocks for their creations.  Having the blocks organized by colour means they don’t need to spend so much time searching for the blocks they want.

I’ve also taken this opportunity to get some ‘rainbow’ and colour themed books from the library;

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These are our two favourites.  There are few words and plenty of pictures to keep the little ones interested.  I like the nature themes too;

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Can’t wait until there is more colour outside – we’re getting tired of just white and grey and looking forward to rainbows and colour outside as well as inside.

Alligator Hunt

I went to Ikea last weekend and picked up some new stuffed animals;

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Back at home I put away the toys from the loose parts bin – they’ve been out for several weeks and it was time for a change.  I replaced them with some miscellaneous toddler toys.  These are odds and ends that don’t fit with other toy sets so I grouped them together;

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This was an unintentional set-up.

The Duplo blocks have been available in the block bin for almost two months – I won’t change the blocks until the children start losing interest in playing with them.   One of the toddlers found an alligator in the loose parts bin and decided it belonged in the block area with the Duplo alligator;

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We then decided to go on an alligator hunt to see if we could find any more alligators.  They found the new stuffie and put him in the ‘water’ area so he could ‘swim’;

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I found an alligator in one of the November/December books but the toddlers were more interested in the other ones – the ones they discovered.

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Going on an alligator hunt may have resulted because I had all the ‘right’ items available but maybe….it was a connection the toddlers made during free play and I just noticed what they did.

Colour Hunt

I’m not totally against the use of bright primary colours for children’s toys but they can become overwhelming.  Whenever possible I will choose to buy products with more neutral colours – earth tones are my favourite.  Still, many of the toys here were purchased long ago like this old standby;

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Toys like these are useful for activities involving patterns, shapes, sizes and of course colour.  But there is one missing.  Here too, one colour is neglected;

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In a colour wheel there are three primary colours – red, blue and yellow.  There are also three secondary colours – green, orange, and purple.  Why is there no purple in either of these sets of toys?  I find this annoying.

In our set of puzzle people purple was included – but this time the manufacturers neglected to include orange.

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Luckily I found some baskets that had primary colours;

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And all three secondary colours too;

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Perfect. Now we can hunt for colours.  Everyone pick a basket, search the playroom, and find items that match your basket.

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Some baskets were too full to carry;

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This was just one of the colour activities we enjoyed this week.

Red Peppers, Tomatoes and Apples

It is quiet — I watch them play.  Indeed ‘quiet’ probably isn’t the best word to use since there is a lot of noise and movement in the play room.  The children are deeply engaged in activities of interest to them so by ‘quiet’ what I mean is they need very little from me.

Sometimes I feel like maybe I should be teaching something instead of just observing.  I have a list of planned activities that I could be doing with them.  I have boxes of stuff that I could bring out for them but they don’t need it.  They are busy, I check my email to distract myself and avoid interfering in their play.

Then I hear the question – actually first there was a correction as one child informed the other that he had made a mistake.

‘Those two don’t belong together’ he said.

‘They are red’ the other child replies as he takes the pieces apart and looks at them.

Together they spread out all the pieces and compare all the pieces.  ‘The bumps look different’ one says as they group the similar pieces together.

They combine the pairs to form all three toy fruits correctly.  Then the first child takes them apart again — one at a time to examine them more closely – like he’s not sure what the difference is.

I understand the problem – after all, these are just toys. Real fruit has more impact – it engages all the senses.  I disrupt their play and tell them to clean up for snack.  They wash up and arrive at the table to see this;

Which they quickly rearranged like this;

They were very excited.  They were also quick to point out that they don’t like tomatoes – except the green part on the top feels nice.

We examined the inside too – comparing real to imitation.  ‘The apple should be white inside’

I gave them each a bowl with some of each of the fruits and a plastic knife.  They both asked me to not give them any tomato but were reassured when I told them they didn’t have to eat it.  They practiced cutting bite size pieces.

And they both told me that red peppers are their favourite so I learned something new too.