Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nature Find & Sort

Ever been down the woods isle at Micheal's? They carry a whole wall of supercute, already-painted wooden cutout animal & flower shapes that you can easily transform into endless semihandmade goodies like magnets, puppets, and fancyshmancy gift tags. My favorite thing I've made so far is a Nature Find & Sort Game. It's super easy, and preschoolers love it.

Here's How To Play:
1. Gather together a big pile of assorted cutouts (be sure to buy multiples of the same animals & flowers) and add embelishments, if you like (glue on feathers, google-eyes, etc. and let dry.)
2. Ask your child to help you sort by "finding" specific things ("Let's find all the turtles.")
3. Put those cutouts aside and count them ("We have three turtles!")
4. Sort again, based on another criteria.

Fun Things To Find and Sort:
* All turtles (or frogs, or lady bugs, etc.)
* All animals
* All plants
* All things that grow
* All the animals who fly
* All the animals who swim
* All the animals with two legs
* All the animals with feathers
* All the animals who jump
* All the small things
* All the animals who are red
* All the animals who go "quack! quack!"
* All the animals who move slowly etc., etc., etc.

This game is great for building observational skills, practicing sorting, building on the concepts of "same" and "different," practicing counting & color knowledge, building vocabulary, introducing new animal information (how they sound, move, look, etc.) I also like to encourage the kids to come up with their own sorting ideas: "What else can we find and sort?" which builds creativity, independent thinking, and self-esteem (yay!)

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