Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Don't Toss that Baby Toy (yet)! Part I

This is a common toy. Retail approx. $16.99. I see it all of the time at our local thrift store. I wonder if people know the age span of this toy. The manufacturer's suggested age is 9 months and up.It can actually be used from age 0 to 5! Here's how:
0-6 Months: Place on baby's high chair tray and play "Peek a Boo" with the animals. As you open the animals say "open." As you close say "close." Also say, "hello" and "goodbye" to the animals. You can also call each animal by name: "Hello giraffe!"
"Goodbye lion."
6 months to a year: Baby will be able to close the animals "goodbye" and may be able to open some (the press button on the panda bear might be the easiest to open). Continue to teach "open and close" and "hello and goodbye." Begin, if you haven't already, calling the animals by their names.
One year to two years: Continue hello and goodbye and open and close. Continue to call the animals by name, "Can you close the elephant?"
"Can you open the monkey?" Begin teaching colors. "Close the red panda bear." Eventually just say, close the red one." Children can begin to try and open each one. Use these verbs to cue: turn (to the right, left), flip (up and down), switch (up and down or left and right), press (in), pull (down).
Two to three: Open and close should be mastered. Review it often. Hello and goodbye should be mastered as well. Animals names should be mastered. Continue to work on colors and directive verbs (turn, flip, switch, press, pull). Introduce the numbers on the lids of the animals. Open all of the animal lids and then count as you close them: one, two, three, four, five. Next say, "Can you close number one? two? three? etc."
Four and five: All five colors (your model may vary in colors), animals (again, your model may vary), and numbers 1-5 should be mastered. The child should be able to open and close all doors. Next begin working on simple math. Open all of the doors. Say. "We have five. Let's close one. Now how many do we have?"
Continue with 5-2=3, 5-3=2, 5-4=1, 5-5=0;
4-1=3, 4-2=2, 4-3=1, 4-4=0;
 3-1=2, 3-2=1, 3-3=0;
2-1=1, 2-2=0;

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