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Welcome to the 3rd day of the Show Me the Love: Valentines Crafts and Activities for Kids series brought to you by And Next Comes L, Still Playing School, and yours truly! This activity was such a special one for us. A simple counting and sorting hearts invitation to play turned into what felt like one of our first homeschooling activities. It gave me a peek into what our life is going to be like in a couple years, and I loved every second of it.
Kingston has a small IKEA Children's LATT Table and Chairs that Todd did over for him for Christmas (he painted it blue with blue and white striped chairs and a chalkboard tabletop!), and I set up this festive little invitation to play on it. His table is set up away from his toys to prevent any distractions, so I thought this would be a great spot for him to focus on what was offered. I set out four red Take and Toss snack cups with some red and pink glitter foam hearts and some red and pink small plastic hearts that I purchased at the Dollar Tree. This was our second time using the foam hearts. We first used them in our Exploring Hearts Sensory Bin. I put all of this inside a red heart from our Imaginarium Rainbow Puzzle Blocks (if you haven't seen these yet, they are AMAZING! They are amazing at teaching shapes, colors, spatial reasoning, and size. They are much cheaper at Toys R Us.) I included a small spoon for him to scoop with.
Note: The plastic hearts pose a chocking hazard, so please do not do this activity with young toddlers who are still mouthing.
I have to admit, I did NOT have high hopes for this activity. I loved the way it looked, but I thought for sure that Kingston would either A) swipe everything that I set up off of the table B) throw the hearts off of the table one by one C) not be interested. I couldn't have been more wrong. I offered no direction and just allowed him to do whatever he pleased. He surprised me by doing exactly what the activity was intended for!
He started by taking out some of the plastic hearts. He used both his hands and his little spoon. He liked the sound that the hearts made on the chalkboard table. He worked to scoop the hearts out and line them up on the table.
As he grabbed the different colored hearts, we talked about pink and red. I explained to him that he was exploring all different kinds of hearts.
He spent a lot of time scooping out the plastic hearts and working with them. He utilized his fine motor skills working the spoon to pick up each heart. We have been working on utensil skills every day, so it was nice to give him a little extra practice.
We lined up the hearts and counted them. As I counted, Kingston would add more hearts to the line up. It was adorable and so much fun to watch my little guy learning. He was very involved in the entire process.
Then he began making patterns with the hearts and we worked on sorting them by color.
Finally he turned his attention to the glittery hearts and began adding them to the mix.
He liked taking them out and putting them back into the cup. We worked on trying to sort them back into the proper places, but he enjoyed mixing them all together more!
Mama's got fancy camera tricks!
He sat and worked intently focused for about a half hour! It definitely exceeded my expectations. He let me know he was done when he began dropping them all over the floor and signing "all done". I was able to make it into a game and have him help me pick most of them up.
I can't wait to do more activities like this with him now that I know he is very interested in it! I see a lot of simple counting and sorting activities in our future.
Don't forget to check out the Valentine's Day fun from my cohosts today!
Still Playing School - Tissue Paper Mosaics for Valentine's Day