When you have kids that are developmentally delayed, you become very aware of things like fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and speech and language development. It literally becomes a part of your daily life in a very conscious way. You work with professionals who teach you how to look at toys with a whole new set of eyes.
For example, these stringing beads – with my oldest, I would just mindlessly show her how to string them on and she’d figure them out and make pretty necklaces. I might point out that they were blue or red and “Oh, look! That’s a Number 3!” but that would be about it.
Little did I know just how many teachable moments there were in this little box.
Did I mention I was an Elementary School Teacher in my previous life?Ã‚Â Did I also mention when I had my first child that I’m pretty sure the sleep deprivation did my brain in? Well, imagine what happened when the twins arrived…but I digress.
The Melissa & Doug Lacing Bead kit comes with:
- 15 cubes, 4 circles, 4 stars, 4 cylinders, 2 large laces
- Primary colors
- Numerals 1-10 for identifying numbers
- Dot representation of 1-10 for counting skills
- Wooden box with clear slide on lid
Here are some of the wonderful teachable moments (I did not take with my oldest) you can take with these beads:Ã‚Â
1.) At first, identifying shapes, colors and numbers for your child and have them repeat. Over time, they should identify them for you.
2.) Model sorting shapes and colors and have your child gradually start to sort them on their own.
3.) Have your child stack blocks as high as they are able. This takes a lot of control in the wrist and with 15 cubes, this is a great challenge for a young child. You will see their “tower” grow over time.
4.) Work with your child to create patterns with shapes and colors. As they become more aware of shapes, colors and patterns, have them create their own.
5.) Model for younger children how to string the beads; then begin showing and encouraging them to string the beads independently.
7.) Model and teach lace & knot tying techniques.
8.) Have your child follow basic commands by choosing specific blocks based on shape and color and then create patterns.
The Melissa and Doug website offers several extension activities as well.
The Melissa and Doug Lacing Beads in a Box is a kit that can truly meet many developmental needs – fine motor skills as well as speech and cognitive developmental needs. Additionally, it’s great because it’s a very portable activity. It comes in a nice wooden box with a clear slide on lid which fits nicely in a backpack for those Spring or Summer vacations that are coming up soon. So, it’s a great addition to this mom’s toy box.
Image Source: Melissa & Doug