Silly Putty Treasure Hunt
In the bag:
silly putty with small tri-beads hidden inside
Mr. Two found this and started to play with the putty, quickly realizing that there were things inside of the putty. He excitedly declared, "Pirate treasure!" and spent a good amount of time digging for treasure and re-burying it to play again. I am finding with him, anything pirate-ish helps increase interest as of late.
I got this idea from a friend who worked with special needs children, many of whom had fine motor skill challenges. This simple activity strengthens the small fine motor muscles in fingers and hands as the pull and stretch the putty and pick out the small beads. Exercising these muscles is critical to improving writing skills.
This was a favorite of Mr. Three (who is 19 months)
Egg Carton Sort
In the bag:
one egg carton (I happened to have an 18 count egg carton, so there were more pockets to fill)
small plastic items (I used soft plastic farm animals)
Mr. Three loved placing one farm animal in each carton pocket. It was funny to see him start out by grabbing a handful of animals and cramming them into the carton. With just a little guidance, he began to place each animal in their own pocket.
This was a great introductory activity to develop one to one correspondence. You could extend this activity for older children by having them make patterns with the animals in the rows, organizing by color or type of animal, or even having them place matching pairs in each pocket.
I am excited to see that my toddler is interested in some of the learning activities I have made for my older boys. Now I need to think more actively about activities to engage both Mr. Two and Mr. Three. Let the fun begin!