We are happy to introduce you to Julie Kieras, the blogger behind A Year With Mom and Dad. Below is her post, Found Objects Sorting Basket:
When it comes to natural play, going outdoors is simply the best. Buying wooden or recycled toys for your kids is great. But you can also use Found Objects in nature as toys, making play and learning so exciting (and free!). One way to play with nature is by creating a Found Objects Sorting Basket. Sorting skills practice is a great brain activity for young toddlers.
First, create your sorter. Line a basket or small box with some cups. Or use a six-cup muffin tin to hold your objects.
Then walk through the yard or a nature trail looking for objects to fill the container. Stones, feathers, pinecones, acorns… any small object will work! Try to find multiples of each item so your toddler can sort similar objects.
This week, I took my son outside for seek and sort playtime. We looked around the yard for various objects that he could grasp. We piled up stones, sticks, even flowers (we have so many, I didn’t mind picking the heads off a few).
As we traveled the yard, I helped him sort our finds into cups I placed in his basket. Soon he figured it out and started sorting the objects correctly (mostly) on his own! This is a new game for him, but I like that it’s one we can play anywhere we happen to be outside! Not only is he learning to sort, but he’s developing an entirely new set of nature vocabulary as well! And he’s learning to pay close attention to the small details of his natural surroundings.
There’s so many ways children benefit from games like playing with nature’s Found Objects!
Bio: Julie Kieras is a mom and blogger at A Year With Mom and Dad . She loves to write about creative parenting, natural living, cloth diapering, and authentic learning experiences for children!