Toys that do double-duty are my absolute favourite when it comes to creating hours of meaningful, educational play for Nixon. I will not buy single purpose toys for under 5’s as little ones tire of them so quickly and often require intensive supervision to ensure they stay focused and on task. Duplo however, is guaranteed to keep my boys entertained through the daily ‘witching hour’ of 5.50-6.30pm, when all hell breaks loose and ringing through the neighbourhood are the cries of “MASH”, “I’m hungry”, “when will dinner be ready?”, “what’s for dinner”, “MASH”, “we always have THAT”……… your house, too right? RIGHT? So, I’ve been trying to think out of the box and come up with some simple and quick games Ethan can help Nixie with, freeing me up to feed the masses.
Stage 1 Mum Hack: Nixon is 21 months old and has a rudimentary grasp on his colours. I built four basic squares and had a rummage in our Duplo box to find a good range of different sized bricks to match the four primary coloured squares; red, yellow, blue and green. I pop these in a large basket so Nix can easily see all of the bricks. Using verbal cues we show Nix what the expected result is i.e. all of the Duplo sorted by colour into the squares, and then we prompt him to do it himself. Creating a basic colour matching game with Duplo will assist with his fine motor skills (picking and sorting) as well as colour identification, differentiation and association.
Stage 2 Mum Hack: Once Nix has grasped colour sorting I’ll print out some flash cards with varying images on them i.e two blue bricks, and ask him to match his Duplo bricks to the image before sorting it into the squares. This will ease him into emergent numeracy work, identifying shapes, patterns, measurement (big vs small) and numbers – all under the guise of play! You can take this as far as you want to, flash cards can be quickly drawn up to work on sequencing – the aim in the example below is to make a pattern as described on the flash card.
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