Tools of the Trade


R was 16 months old at the time of this activity


Three Little Pigs by Sheryl Bone – R loves the board book version of the Three Little Pigs.  I started reading this book to her back when she was 11 months old and she would love to do the “huff and puff” part with me.  She still loves doing it now!  Repeated readings are so important for kids since they help kids to develop the concept of print and develop reading-like behaviour.  Reading like behaviours include holding a book in the correct orientation, flipping pages, and “telling” the story.   The child does not need to read the words when s/he is beginning to read, instead, encourage young children who can speak to “read” the pictures.


1. Gearing Up!

IMG_8238I pulled out our tub of Gears Gears Gears and added some play tools from Home Depot.  R thought it was necessary to include her mega blocks princess with the activity.  She enjoyed watching all the gears work together, and especially enjoyed hammering, sawing, screwing and plier(ing)?!?  R got a lot of fine motor practice during this activity.  She put the plastic screw drivers into the centre of the gear and used it as a crank to turn the gears.  She had a tough time putting the gears on the board so that they would interconnect, so for the mean time, I made the interconnecting board for her.  The construction portion of this activity is more developmentally appropriate for older children, but lots of learning and discovering still went on!

Extension Activities:
a. Work on colours.  Ask the child to build a yellow (or whatever colour) gear construction.
b. Problem solve.  Place one gear at one end of the board.  Place a second gear away from the first gear (do not make them interconnect).  Ask the child to figure out how to add more gears to the board in order to make the second gear move.  Using the different connectors in the gears bin, you can build vertically also.  This way, you can create more and more challenging tasks for the child.

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