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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Learning for Little Ones: Homemade Manipulatives

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Learning for Little Ones: Homemade Manipulatives

I may include this with Frugal Friday too over at Crystal's site... For me it was a free (since we already had the stuff for it) activity to set up for my little one. For you it may be only a couple dollars!

We don't eat a lot of beans in this house (though if the economy continues in it's present course, we may have to change that), but I happen to have quite a few bags of beans in my pantry, of different varieties. Usually we donate these in November to the boy scouts food drive, but I got the idea (from someone, don't remember who) to use beans as manipulatives for Tornado.

I waited until we had an empty sherbert container, washed it out, and put a bag of mixed beans (more colorful than just one kind) into it. Tornado and I sit on the floor and play with them in the bucket.

When they fall out (and they do) it gives good practice looking for and picking up small things (he's never been great at the pincher grasp anyway--he's more of a whole hand kid--so this is great!)

As he gets older we may sort and count and compare smaller and bigger, but for now, we just pick them up and let them fall through our fingers. Maybe next week we'll introduce a spoon to stir with... but I'm not sure I'm ready for THAT much practice picking up beans off the floor. :)

Make sure you stay close to your little one... beans can be a choking hazard! Watch close!
What are you doing with your little ones? Write a post on your blog and link up here. Be sure to link directly to your Learning for Little Ones post and don't forget to link back here so others can participate too. Feel free to use my little Learning for Little Ones banner at the top. Don't have a blog??? Leave your ideas in the comments section. :) I'm so looking forward to visiting your blogs and learning from all of you!



At June 19, 2008 at 4:57 PM , Blogger 3cookieday said...

I don't know if this counts, but Emma played outside in her pool for the first time yesterday. She was pouring water out of the Tupperware I'd gotten out as pool toys. And she loves to play with the Tupperware lids.

It was also a good learning experience for her because she was scared to go in the water at first but once she figured out that it was like a big bathtub, she didn't want to get out. : ) I'll have to post on this tomorrow and link to your post!

At June 19, 2008 at 7:26 PM , Blogger Brenda said...

I made a sensory box back in March 2007 for my little guy to help with his fine motor skills. We do bring this out from time to time even now. I love hiding little plastic toys or thing in it for him to find. Kind of like a treasure hunt. We also used he bags of beans we had and were not it was free too. I have listed the link to my post back in March 2007, and there is a link to web site that has all kinds of different Sensory Box ideas besides beans. They all look fun, but I have yet to venture out from the beans.

At June 19, 2008 at 8:45 PM , Blogger klh said...

What a great idea! I look forward to trying it.

At June 20, 2008 at 11:22 AM , Blogger 3cookieday said...

Okay, I posted about the kiddie pool! : )

At June 20, 2008 at 3:55 PM , Blogger Mod Girl said...

What a great idea! So simple and fun and a good way to work on those fine motor skills. We were blueberry picking the other day and I noticed that my 2 year old just wanted to put his hand down in the blueberries, feel them and handle them. Beans are a little less fragile!

At July 25, 2009 at 6:45 AM , Blogger Vicki said...

I made a tube from stiff paper and packing tape. My 1 year 4 month old son prefers a tube with a bottom. He gathers all his blocks and puts them in the tube, dumps them out for quite a long time. This is just simple, but he loves it. Eventually I will do different size tubes and blocks, but for now he enjoys this simple task of just putting the blocks in a tube and dumping them out.


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