28 - 30 Months

Here’s how your 2-year-old can keep playing with their baby and 1-year-old playthings

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Lovevery Playthings are designed to encourage open-ended play, which means they can take on new meaning as your child grows. Reintroduce a beloved toy from a baby or toddler Kit, and your two-year-old will keep finding new and creative ways to play ❤️

Here are new ways to enjoy Lovevery Playthings from past kits:

Rainbow Spinner 

Now that your child is able to identify more colors, the Rainbow Spinner provides a fun, randomized way of practicing color-matching. Here are a few ways to use it:

  • Start by teaching or reviewing the five colors of the Spinner: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. Consider using the method described in a Stanford study, which found that naming the object first helps children learn colors: “this side is red” (rather than “the red side”).
  • Go on a color hunt. Start by spinning the Spinner; when it stops, the color on top is the scavenger hunt color. Look around your home for objects that match the color, and bring them back to compare.
  • Ask your child to spin the Spinner as fast as they can, then stop it with their hand—when it stops, ask them to name the color their hand is on.

Opposite Balls

Your child is nearing the age where they may start catching a ball against their chest, if they aren’t doing it already. The Opposite Balls put a fun twist on a basic game of catch. Here’s how to play:

  • Start by reminding your child how each ball feels in their hand, and how even though they look identical, there’s something very different about them: “this one is heavy, and this one is light.”
  • Pick up the light ball, and have your child stand or sit just a few feet away from you. Ask them to hold their arms out, elbows tucked in, and let them know you’re going to gently toss the ball to them and they should try to catch it.
  • After a few underhanded tosses, say “now I’m going to switch to the heavy ball. It’s going to feel really different when you try to catch it.” Once they’ve had a chance to catch both, tell them you’re going to mix it up—and toss them a ball without telling them if it’s heavy or light.
  • You can vary the game by rolling the balls back and forth, having your child toss them to you (one at a time 🙃), or asking your child to guess which ball you have in your hand.

Quilted Critter Pockets

When your child was a little younger, they enjoyed matching each soft animal with its pocket, tucking the animals in as they matched. Now, they may like trying some new activities:

  • Play “guess my animal” with the Quilted Critters. Set them out in front of your child, using just a handful—three or four—to start. Describe an animal, exaggerating the key words and acting them out: “this animal is very tall, has a really looooong neck, and eats leaves from trees.” When your child points to the giraffe, ask them to tuck it into the right pocket, then keep going until all the animals are tucked in. 
  • Play “what’s missing?” which is a version of the classic game of memory. Start simple: place all of the animals on top of their pockets except one, and ask your child to tell you which one is missing. You can make it harder by moving the animals off their pockets to a spot on the floor or table nearby. Then, remove one and see if they can guess it that way. If they’re having trouble, you can suggest they match the animals to their pockets until only one is left (or two, or three).
  • The critters work well for dramatic play, too: you can create shoebox habitats for them, have your child act out each animal as they place them in their pockets, and practice animal sounds (make new ones up for animals like ladybugs 😉).

Magic Tissue Box

The Magic Tissue Box can become what’s known as a “Mystery Bag” in Montessori toddler classrooms. Place different objects in the box when your child isn’t looking, then encourage them to use their sense of touch to explore and identify what’s inside. 

  • You can fill the Magic Tissue Box with a variety of objects: rocks, marbles, leaves, feathers, small toys, a small apple, shapes, keys, coins, or uncooked pasta. 
  • Your child can try to guess, or simply enjoy the feeling of reaching in for a mystery item and naming it when they take it out.
  • This is a great opportunity to use texture vocabulary like smooth, rough, bumpy, thin, thick, crumbly, and hard.

Race & Chase Ramp

The Race & Chase Ramp’s has twists and turns, satisfying sounds, and small wooden cars that are endlessly fascinating to young children. Now that your child is two, they’re starting to learn more about taking turns and what it means to play with someone else. The ramp is a great way to practice:

  • Your child may enjoy playing with the ramp on their own, or you can join them by racing the cars down at the same time. This is also a great opportunity to explicitly model turn-taking: “first it’s going to be my turn; then, after my car goes, it will be your turn. After that, we can race at the same time!”
  • Try placing the ramp up on a chair or table, and place a box or basket underneath it as a landing spot. Your child learns about physics and movement through trial and error, and may enjoy adjusting the container so the cars fly off the end of the ramp to land directly in it.
  • The cars are specifically built to fit the ramp and flip over at each turn, but how do other cars, balls, and objects roll? Invite your child to try various other small items—like buttons, bottle caps, small balls, and other little cars—that may fit on the ramp, to see if they can make it all the way down, too.

Wooden Stacking Pegboard

The Wooden Stacking Pegboard can grow alongside your child in a wide variety of ways, from counting to color-matching to sensory activities:

  • Counting while deliberately pointing to each object in order may be a challenge for now, but it helps reinforce the number’s meaning for your child. This is called one-to-one correspondence, and the pegboard is an ideal way to practice: give your child a handful of pegs (five or so) and ask them to place the pegs, one at a time, onto the board, counting each one. If they count too fast or mix up the numbers, start over and go more slowly.
  • Try placing 3 pegs on the board and ask your child to count them. Next, remove one of the pegs and put it behind your back. Ask your child how many are left, then ask how many are in your hand. If your child is into it, keep going slowly, adding more to the board and varying the number of pegs you hide.
  • See if your child can sort the pegs into color groups, then invite them to make towers of single colors. You can extend the color activities if your child is into it, by inviting them to make a tower with all 4 colors or making a tower with only 3 colors and asking your child which one is missing.

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Posted in: 28 - 30 Months, Fine Motor, Matching, Playtime & Activities, Cognitive Development, Child Development

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