Between 15 and 18 months, most toddlers begin to develop hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills needed to sort colors and shapes. Around 16 months, Miss 20 months (now) became interested to sort so I introduced the following DIY sorting activities for her: First Color Sorting Activity for Beginners, DIY Weather Shape Puzzle and Fall Themed Scoop & Sort Station. She took to them with partial success, and I've been diversifying the sorting toys and activities I offered to her since.
Sorting is one of the most important developmental skills for young children, so it's definitely worth the time and effort to DIY sorting toys and activities that hold their interest!
Since it's Christmas and Miss 20 months has been acquainted with many holiday characters, I decided to incorporate them, in particular Frosty the Snowman & Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer into my latest DIY shape sorter toy.
Christmas Themed Shape Sorter Cardboard Toy for Toddlers!
How to Make Your Own Christmas Shape Sorter Cardboard Toy
- A medium-sized cardboard box
- Wooden blocks in myriad shapes (I use Melissa & Doug's Wooden Building Blocks)
- Art materials for decoration
- Use the pencil to draw desired holiday characters onto both sides of the cardboard box
- Incorporate shapes of the wooden building blocks into the facial design of those characters
- Use penknife to cut out the shapes
- Decorate the characters with art materials to look attractive and recognisable to children
- Cut away the flaps to one side of the box to enable children to easily retrieve dropped wooden blocks
- Try not to make the cardboard holes bigger than the wooden blocks so there's a bit of resistance for toddlers to push in the blocks. Some tots love the challenge!
- You can extend the learning to colors by naming the color of the wooden block your child puts in as she performs the act
- Teach about body parts by pointing to and naming them on the snowman and reindeer
Developmental Benefits of this Sorting Activity
- Cognitive development (Through sorting, children begin to classify objects by their similarities and become aware of their differences. This critical and logical thinking cements the foundation for learning of more advanced mathematical concepts in the future.)
- Build concentration and focus
- Fine motor development and honing of pincer grip
- Allows opportunity for self-correction and decision-making, which are important life skills
- Cause and effect learning
I love how Miss 20 months' wooden blocks are reused and played in a different and creative way with this shape sorter toy! Also sharing the Jack O Lantern shape sorter toy I made for Halloween here for reference and inspiration.
You might also be interested in my other Christmas themed play ideas such as:
- DIY Gingerbread Man Cardboard House
- Making Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Wall Art
- Cardboard Christmas Tree Decoration Fine Motor Activity
- DIY Life Size Cardboard Santa Sleigh for Toddlers to Ride
- Paper Cup Christmas Tree Fine Motor Craft
To follow Gwen's play adventures, check out @miraculove_sg (Instagram), save our pins or join A Toddler Activity A Day Facebook Group.
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.