Lately Kale has been all about lacing. He'll spend a solid 20 minutes (which is about 4 hours in toddler time) lacing beads onto pipe cleaners, making everyone he knows - including the cat - a bracelet. We decided to mix it up a little the other day and I brought out some different lacing activities that we had sitting in the closet. I mean, I can only wear so many bracelets before people start thinking I'm just being flashy....
Age: 27 months
Materials: We used Lace & Trace Shapes and Alex Toys Wooden String & Beep Stringing Set. Check out Simply Montessori - Adventures in Lacing for additional products and some links to great DIY lacing materials.
Recognition of Identity
Kale was immediately drawn to the String & Beep set - which is basically a long piece of string with wood on one end and bunch of wooden cars, trucks, etc. with holes through them. As he started to lace them onto the string, I asked him if he could tell me which each one was. He's been really into cars and trucks lately, so he was happy to tell me if it was a jeep or an ambulance or his Uncle Karl's truck.
Recognition of Identity:
Again, the String & Beep set worked particularly well for the second part of the "lesson." I would suggest putting a certain car or truck on (i.e. "how about putting the yellow bus next?"), and he'd happily oblige. Even though the focus was on lacing, this was still a good activity for working on his colours and vocabulary.
Discrimination between Similar Objects:
Kale was less interested in working with the Lace & Trace Shapes (I bet if they were in the shape of a truck he'd be more into it!). I think it's a bit too tedious for his age. I often had to help him out and I normally find that once I'm involved, he gives up faster. However, we did spend some time with me gently encouraging him to lace into the hole next to the one he'd just drawn his string through. Since all the holes looked the same, I could see him seriously focusing on trying to figure out which exactly was the "next" one.
Over the course of the afternoon, we spent HOURS in his playroom lacing and beading. I'm pretty sure we have enough bracelets to open at Etsy shop....Any buyers?