This month I am focusing on infants and toddlers, so on Mondays we are going to look at some of the best infant manipulatives out there. Now this is not based on any real scientific evidence, just my opinion. But it is my blog, so I get to say what I like best.
The Bucket Sorter provides moments of fun activity for even the youngest babies. The buckets are usually made of see-through plastic, so the children can see what is inside. The lid usually has holes cut out in the shapes of the pieces that are meant to be put inside. For very young children, it is the adult who sorts the shapes for the infant, and the infant who observes the action. Later, mobile infants will crawl over and remove the lid and then empty the shapes out. The shapes then become missiles that can be thrown around the room and then gathered back up again. It is very difficult for an infant or toddler to actually get the shapes back in through the cut-out holes in the lid but they will work hard and try until frustration sets in.