Picture Box

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Here’s a riff on an activity Veronika and I have done before, the first time making her a big book of pictures to look through. The big pages proved too hard for her to turn, however, so this mini version had two advantages: the pictures are smaller and they are all kept inside a special box, which meant double the fun!

I had an old recipe card box with a flip-top lid that was perfect for the game. As I surmised, Veronika was enamored with the lid, and that alone might have occupied her most of the morning!

But the fun was just getting started. We went through old nature catalogs and cut out pictures of animals, including bears, rabbits, owls, bobcats, and more. I loved hearing her name each one while we sat together to cut them out and then glue down onto index cards.

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Insert into the recipe box and it’s ready for storage and play!

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Veronika kept so busy with this little set of cards by herself. As I mentioned, she loved the lid and was so proud as she opened and closed it.

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Then there was the surprise each time she opened it to see what picture was waiting for her. She would shuffle through the cards, take them all out, put them back in, and then start all over again.

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I hope to add to this collection over time!

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Want to make this activity more portable? Put the pictures in a mini photo album instead of a recipe box and you’ll have the prefect take-along version for the car.

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Sort Colors in a Play Tunnel

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Veronika has sorted colors into separate bins before, and it’s a task she’s become quite skilled at. This new twist on the activity has an added advantage because it incorporates gross motor skills and movement, too! Our play tunnel that has been open in the living room all weekend, so today I thought we could use it for a little learning before folding it up.

This required a little parental set-up on the front end. I emptied a few toy storage bins and taped down a piece of paper in the bottom of each with the name of a color, as well as a square colored in marker in that corresponding color.

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We started out just using red and blue because I wanted to be sure Veronika understood the concept before adding more colors. Stacking blocks from Mega Bloks or Duplo are perfect for this game. I showed her the labeled bins and then we ran around to the other side of the tunnel where a jumble of blue and red blocks were waiting. “Can you put the red ones in the red bin?” I asked her, offering up a red block.

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At first she wanted to run around the tunnel, but after I tossed the blocks inside it, she got the idea to crawl through with block in hand. She had her victory target in sight…

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Slam dunk!

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To be honest, she didn’t always crawl through, sometimes taking the long way around on her feet. But this was always at a run, so it sure still counted as movement play!

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We expanded to orange and yellow blocks next, giving her four choices of bin for each block as she reached the end. When we finished with the sorting activity, she kept busy with all the materials for a while, moving items from bin to tunnel to storage bag to floor and back again.

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