Guest Blogger of the month!
If you’ve been following along for a while, you would know that I LOVE open-ended resources – that is toys and materials that can be used in a variety of ways, depending on your child’s interests and abilities. So when I came across these Create N Play Wooden Discs from The Freckled Frog, I instantly fell in love! Each of the 20 discs are like mini chalkboards – they can be written on in chalk, and then wiped with a damp cloth ready to be used again. As soon as I saw them I knew the possibilities for learning through play were endless, and so I wanted to share some of the ways that I intend to use them with Paige and Samuel.
Draw matching shapes on pairs of the wooden discs to match – with toddlers, start simple by only using three shapes – squares, triangles and circles are the best to start with. Then flip all discs so they are facing upwards and encourage your little one to match the pairs of shapes together. As they match the shapes, be sure to name them to encourage shape recognition. You may like to challenge older children by including more shapes, for example rectangles, ovals and hegaxons.
Memory Match is similar to the Shape Match activity above, however begins with all the discs facing down. Take it in turns with your little one to flip two discs and see if you made a match! This is a great game to encourage turn taking, plus a wonderful way to support memory development. With younger toddlers, you might like to include just two or three pairs to start with. To challenge older children you can include more shapes, or use letters or numbers to match instead.
Build Your Name
Write the letters of your little one’s name on the wooden discs, then work with your child to identify each letter and arrange them to spell their name. This is a great way to encourage letter recognition for beginner writers.
Write the numbers 1-5 on the wooden discs, then encourage your little one to order them starting at 1, or challenge them by ordering them backwards starting at 5. You could also using the numbers 1-10 for an even greater challenge.
Write the numbers 1-5 on the discs, then draw dots to represent each number on separate discs. Work with your little one to match the dot discs to the corresponding numerals. You could also add a tactile element by adding loose parts for your little one to make groups of objects for each number, for example make a group of three pom poms next to the number 3.
SCHOOL AGED PLAY
Sight Word Search
Add a sensory element to your child’s sight word practice by writing their words on the wooden discs, then hiding them in a container or bowl of rainbow rice! They will love searching for the discs to identify, and you will love that they are learning through play!
Explore the different types of lines in letters with your little one by sorting them into three groups: letters with straight lines, letters with curved lines, and letters that have both! Try sorting the letters in your child’s name before adding other letters they may recognise.
Flip and Draw
Draw a variety of different shapes on the wooden discs then turn them over so they are all facing down. Take it in turns with your child to flip over three discs at a time and use those shapes to draw a picture. I wonder how creative you and your little one will be?!
Build a Word
Once your child has started learning sounds at school, you can use the discs to begin blending sounds to make simple words, for example d-o-g, p-r-a-m or s-oa-p. Blending sounds to make new words is quite a tricky skill, so be sure to use the sounds your child knows to help them be successful! If this is too difficult for your child, you could make the word and work with your child to sound out and blend to determine the word.
Now, as I said earlier, there really are endless possibilities with these Create N Play Wooden Discs, the activities I’ve suggested are just a few! How you would use these wooden discs with your little one? Let me know below!
Lycie is a mum to two gorgeous children, who is also an Early Childhood teacher, with a passion for Visual Arts, and have been teaching since 2010.
As an EC teacher, she have always had a love for open-ended, play-based learning and that often influenced the activities and experiences she offered her children.
We absolutely love her blog The Paige Diaries , in which she aims to inspire others by sharing simple and engaging play ideas for babies and toddlers.
Thank you Lycie for being our guest blog of the month! Please visit her page for fantastic play ideas.
Images and blog post by Lycie from The Paige Diaries.