Okay, I know, I'm an Etsy addict. But, I just love the selection of personally crafted, carefully handmade, wonderfully creative items for children that Etsy provides!!! My latest love is the natural and non-toxic wooden toys that you can find on there. I just think that the feel of wood over plastic makes the work so much more "important" feeling, you know? Not that my house is plastic free- it isn't!!! But, if I have the choice, I go with natural, hands down.
One of my favorite Early Childhood activities is sorting. There are endless ways you can sort things- by colors, textures, smells, materials, size, shape, and on! I just love giving my children a group of objects and observing them as they come up with their own ways to sort. I'm always pleasantly surprised when they think of a way to sort that hadn't crossed my mind.
This is also one of my favorite activites because it is easily completed cooperatively or alone, and it is simple, inexpensive, and easy to prepare. Gather together a group of objects, easily customizable to any theme, holiday, season, or lesson, and a place to sort! The place to sort can be mats, bowls, a muffin pan, circular hoops laid on the floor, boxes, or even just under header cards in columns. Oriental Trading is a wonderful place to purchase inexpensive sorting materials. They have just about any theme you can think of, and you can purchase in quantities that allow you to sort and resort without abandon! :) We have their Mini Insect Erasers, and these are a favorite for my children to sort.
I love using sorting as a great activity to keep them occupied at the table while you fix a meal- just hand them a bag and some bowls, and let them sort away! Another one of my favorites is button sorting! I love vintage buttons, and if you don't have a collection of your own, you can purchase collections of them many places, including Ebay. Or, you can go to Walmart and purchase a lovely package of assorted buttons in many colors, shapes, and sizes in their sewing and crafts department for just a few dollars. As always, monitor your children during this activity and choose age appropriate materials.
So now you can see why I just love this product from Wee Wood! It combines my enthusiasm for sorting activities with my passion for handmade, natural toys. :) This Large set of 5 bowls, includes 1 bowl (and 1 scoop in each bowl) of each: hearts, mushrooms,spools, stars and apples. Each bowl painted in 5 primary colors with nontoxic paint and sealed with a nontoxic and hypoallergenic sealant. How much fun would your little one have with these? It is one of those toys where they are having too much fun playing to realize they are learning!! And as a bonus, they are also great for scooping and pouring, counting, whatever you (and your little one!) can imagine. Please visit the rest of their store, too, as they have many other lovely products for your child. Happy shopping!