Toy Rotation: December 2018

All change again this month! The new pretend play toys went down really well, and I gradually swapped them out for other items over the course of November

A lot of my children have recently achieved their Next Steps and now have new ones, so this is a good time to rethink the options available to play with

This month’s range comes from Melissa & Doug, Hape and Magformers, and were all purchased from Wise Owl Toys (an independent toy shop in Worcester)

Melissa & Doug Primary Lacing Beads
These chunky beads are useful for a variety of reasons. One of my older children is struggling with holding his pencil in a tripod grip, and threading toys like this will help him to practise that motor skill before moving onto holding an actual pencil properly. Another of my children loves to organise them into the different shapes and colours, and we also use them for counting activities. The beads have even been used in the toy kitchen in place of toy food! These are safe for smaller children as they are very chunky, but obviously the laces need to be used under strict supervision

Melissa & Doug Primary Lace & Trace Wild Animals
Again, a great activity to refine motor skills; these offer a greater challenge compared to the Primary Lacing Beads as more concentration and finesse is required to thread through the smaller holes. I encourage the older children to use these while the younger play with the larger beads

Hape Creative Peg Puzzle
I love this puzzle! Colours, shapes, counting, dexterity, this puzzle covers a lot of bases. I encourage younger children to count and identify colours (we also discuss lighter and darker shades) whilst older children can attempt to put the pieces on the correct pegs; this is more challenging than it sounds as the pieces need to be rotated in order to reach the bottom…

Magformers
These are out on request from my own children. Younger children can experiment with the basics of magnets, and I encourage all the children to use the words ‘attract’ and ‘repel’ even at this age (I blame my seven years of teaching Science for that!) whilst older children can follow the cards to make simple shapes

Melissa & Doug Spin & Swipe Cash Register
This reinforces the basic colours that the younger children are learning, but also the numbers 1, 2, 3. One of my childminded children counts down from five to one every time we do any counting activity, so I will use this to encourage her to slow down and count UP rather than down. Number recognition is also a Next Step of a three-year-old, so this toy also promotes that skill. The coins are also different sizes, which helps to introduce the concept of comparison, such as big and bigger, small and smaller, wider and narrower, etc

Melissa & Doug See & Spell
This one is mainly for my eldest; he is learning to read cvc (consonant-vowel-consonant) words at preschool, so this is to consolidate his learning there. We use these to firstly find the correct letters, then sound out the word. I have also made extra cards with other cvc words on to extend his learning further

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