Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Size and Colour Sorting {Learning with Rainbow Bears}

I'm excited to be joining in with a brand new series this week: #toolsforlearning! Every Tuesday an awesome team of bloggers will be taking on the challenge of activities with common educational manipulatives! We want learning to be hands-on, interactive and fun! This week we're featuring rainbow counters!

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

My favourite rainbow counters are our rainbow bears-they come in four different colours and three different sizes so are great not just for counting but also sorting and being bears they can even be used in small world play.

I designed this activity for both Squiggles (2years) and Bubbles (5years).

Squiggles knows her colours but often has trouble distinguishing between red, orange and yellow aswell as blue, purple and green.

To reinforce the concept of colour I created a simple matching game by taking an old, wooden, packaging tray and cutting some coloured paper to fit it's compartments. I wrote the name of each colour at the top of each column for a little print awareness.

To challenge Bubbles a little more, I utilised the spaces of the tray to encourage her to sort the bears from biggest to smallest.

Bubbles and I began by creating an inferior version of Danya Banya's fairy door, for our bears. (We used the wrong type of glue, didn't wait for it to dry properly and the spot Bubbles chose to put it up was apparently in the path of some ants..oops!) We then took our door outside, chose a spot for it and Bubbles set about moving the rainbow bears into their new home.

Bubbles then had great fun playing with the bears-making them visit one another and run around their 'park.'

 After Bubbles had played with the bears for awhile she asked what the tray was for.
Once I explained that it was for sorting the bears into their sizes she excitedly ran about the yard collecting the bears-comparing them to one another to see what size they were and placing them in their individual compartments.

Bubbles then suprised me, as she so often does, and took the activity in a new direction. Having sorted the bears by size and colour, Bubbles went inside and using the words on the tray as a guide, she made up three signs: Yellow, Red, Blue. She then requested that I show her how to write 'Green Bears Allowed' and made up a sign of that too.

The signs were placed on a magna tile castle she made earlier in the week for the rainbow bears .

(A little side note: Whilst I'd intended on doing this activity with both girls together, Bubbles showed an interest in it whilst Squiggles was attending her special day at family daycare so we did this activity separately. To prevent this from being the never ending post, I'll blog about how Squiggles explored this activity later.)

Now for the fun part…

Would you try this activity or have you tried another? We want to see! You can share pictures to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Google+. Tag your pictures with  ‪#‎toolsforlearning‬.

Be sure to check out each blogger, as we will each have a different way we enjoy playing and learning with these fantastic resources-leaving you with a list of the best ways to learn with Rainbow Counters!

Rainbow Chain Link Toddler Color Matching from Sugar Aunts
Graphing with Rainbow Bears from Still Playing School
Teddy Bear Preschool Theme Counting Activities from Learning 2 Walk
Size Order Rainbow Bear Cards from Life Over C's
Color and Size Sorting with Rainbow Counters from Line Upon Line Learning
Alphabet Formation Compare Bears from Adventures of Adam
Animal Counters Sensory Bin & Color Sort from Raising Little Superheroes
Color Graphing with Rainbow Bears from Schooltime Snippets
Rainbow Bears Sensory Bin from Something 2 Offer
Counting More or Less with Farm Animal Rainbow Counters from Stir the Wonder
Rainbow Bears Addition Cards from The Kindergarten Connection
Measuring with Rainbow Bears from Mom Inspired Life  

Don't forget to use #toolsforlearning on Instagram to share your Rainbow Bear & Counter learning activities!! 

For more activities like this check out my new book Learn with Play. It’s a collaborative work, written by myself and 93 other amazing bloggers, mothers, teachers and early childhood educators. The e-book comes with links to over 300 activities!
Please always supervise your infant/child at play.  Please stay within arms reach and never leave infants/children unattended.  You know you're infant/child best, use your own judgement-considering your infant/child's temperament, habits, behaviour and development before you play with a new play medium.

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  1. As soon as our weather is warm enough again, we'll be trying this outside!

  2. Such a fun idea!! Getting outside makes it more fun :)

  3. Is it wrong to be jealous of your wooden tray. What a brilliant way to sort the Rainbow Bears.