To get Gwen's color sorting interest going and heartened by the success of my very first DIY color sorting toy made from popsicle sticks and cardboard box, I tried out a second play hack idea from Happy Tot Shelf, which is her ingenious Duplo Color Matching Activity for Toddlers.
Easy Color Sorting for Young Toddlers with Duplo Lego!
I demonstrated how the color sorting could be done before letting Gwen take over while I sat back to observe.
Gwen picked out the right colors but struggled a lot to place the brick in between two flanking lego bricks, because just the smallest misalignment meant the grooves wouldn't fit. She was on the brink of giving up when I thought I would intervene with a slight modification.
It turns out that this slight modification was just what it took to tailor the challenge to the "just right" level for a young toddler - not too easy that Gwen could complete with her eyes closed, or too frustrating that might cause her to quit.
Modification I Tried
Instead of using 2 bricks, I flanked all 4 sides with 4 bricks so it's easy for Gwen to fit her brick in as long as the square shapes aligned.
After she had practice popping in her brick and seemed to gaining mastery in the activity, I upped the challenge by changing the shape of the empty brick space.
Instead of 1 square brick to fill the gap, she would have to use 2 adjacent square bricks to form a rectangle. This tweak would require problem-solving skills.
Unfortunately this activity didn't hold her attention long enough for her to work at the new challenge. I'll definitely repeat this activity some time in the near future because it's a really simple set up with lots of learning benefits!
Benefits of Sorting
- Enable a child to make sense of the world and create order in her life through organising like and different objects
- Sorting helps children acquire early math skills so they can group numbers and sets and understand numerical concepts better
- Help child apply logical thinking and problem-solving to their way of playing
- Enable a child to spot and self-correct errors (The Montessori way is to let the child try it on her own after you have done the demonstration. Yes as a parent it can be hard to watch a child put sticks in the wrong slots without intervening but trust that she will in time realise it and self-correct. Letting your child figure it out on her own builds self-confidence.)
To follow Gwen's play adventures, check out @miraculove_sg (Instagram) or 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.