# Category Archives: Puzzles

We do a lot of counting and pre-math around here so I decided to start some simple addition using items I already had on hand. A.J. has tons of blocks so I took two and turned them into numbered dice. I used bottle caps that I already numbered for the answer after the equal sign and bears for the manipulatives.

A.J. likes to simply play with the bears, too.

A.J. is learning about order, by putting the numbers in order.

We are also playing more with shapes. I bought a shape sorter to help A.J. with identifying 3-dimensional shapes. I think that’s the term for it. Anyway, he needs to practice putting matching the shapes and putting them in the correct way, which is a bit challenging for him.

#### What creative ways do you use to teach simple addition?

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

## 7 Brain Boosters for Tots (Part 2)

This post is a continuation from yesterday’s post, 7 Brain Boosters for Tots (Part 1).

Eye Drop Art – I made the design in the middle and A.J. made the rest. We used food coloring and an eye dropper to create these masterpieces! During this art project, A.J. unknowingly practiced his three finger (pincer grasp) which helps in the preparation of writing among other fine motor skill activities.

Even his favorite stuffed animal, Fievel, got in on the action!

A.J. enjoys Fievel's company.

Popscicle Puzzles –  I learned about this project over at the blog, Impress Your Kids. Additional insight into the benefits of puzzles is from Patricia Bentham of Kindergarten Lessons. According to Ms. Bentham, puzzles:

1. Develop vocabulary
2. Increase small muscle development
3. Develop eye hand coordination
4. Improve memory skills
5. Increase problem solving skills
6. Build spatial perception
7. Build literacy skills
To make this puzzle:
1. Tape popsicles together
2. Turn it over and place picture on to the sticks
3. Glue picture to sticks then cut with a sharp object such as a box cuttter
4. I used markers for the numbers, but next time I will use stickers for ease of removal. You can also choose not to add numbers to up the challenge level of this activity.

Although this was challenging to A.J., he enjoyed looking at the picture of himself with his Auntie "Gee Gee" and playing with the popsicle sticks. In due time he will better understand.

Pasta Stick Rings – This is a wonderful activity to further develop fine motor skills and the three-finger (pincer) grasp. I saw it on Mya and Me blog and had to make one for A.J. It’s usually done with pasta sticks stuck in play dough, but I didn’t have any play dough on hand so instead, I used a salt container. This worked out perfectly.

A.J. had difficulty with this when he used his right hand. But when he used his left hand, his dominant hand, he could do it.

Pipe Cleaner Fun – The objective is to make designs putting the pipe cleaners through the holes of a strainer. I filled the holes on this activity and A.J. was more than happy to pull them out and more! I found this idea from the blog Nobody Has More Fun Than The Adams.

Here is a bonus activity for you that we also did. I’m not a big fan of posters, but I do what I can to make it come alive and get A.J. moving. I took this color and shapes poster and re-created the shapes. A.J. places the shapes onto the shapes on the board. There are creative ways to use these cut outs, but for his age level, this is all that we do for now.

I do my best to credit the source of activities on this blog. If you share your activities with me and I use them, I will be sure to give you credit as well.

With that being said, are there any activities that you’d like to add to this list?

Pray, Persist, & Prosper!

## Practicing Transferring Skills & Puzzles

In the spirit of the Holiday Season I bought A.J. a small selection of Christmas ornaments in the form of presents and small drums, I also included colorful pom poms for sensory awareness and for practicing transferring skills. I introduce a child sized ladle, but he was not quite ready for that so instead he transferred the items with his hands.

Yesterday was special because A.J. turned 16 months-old. Sadly, also on this day my 95 year-old grandmother made her transition. She had a peaceful journey and was surrounded by loving family members. My mother commissioned me to create a photo book about my grandmother’s life. It should arrive in the mail today. Although she didn’t have a chance to see it here, I’m sure she sees it now. Hopefully it turns out as wonderfully as it looked online.

I was pregnant with A.J. at my book signing. My husband, parents and sister and I are pictured with my Grandmother, Luvennia (MaDea) Robertson

After A.j. completed the puzzle, he applauded himself. LOL!

What activities are engaging to your little one?

Stay tuned for next post: The Start of Imaginative Play

Pray, Persist & Prosper!