I confess, toy shopping really stresses me out. There is just a lot of pressure to spend wisely, find something sturdy and long-lasting, something with learning potential.
In the toy buying game, I win some and I lose some. Maybe someday I’ll gather all my “losers” for a funny post. But, today I want to highlight a big time winner —> Counting Bears!
I remember having these as a child myself and they’ve proved to be a timeless toy that all children love regardless of the generation they discover them. Counting bears are simple and versatile. Both my 2 and 4 year old are mildly obsessed with their bears and we’ve morphed our bear playtime into quite a few learning opportunities …
Traditionally, they’re called counting bears and so, we count with them often. One to one correspondence is a great skill for little ones to learn and maintain and these cheery little bears make that activity fun.
We sort colors in the the corresponding cups, counting as we go. Sometimes brother mixes them up … which provides the perfect opportunity to re-sort 🙂 This week we started making patterns with our bears too!
Over the years we’ve collected a few different sets of bears. We have some large and some small. There are even counting cats out there! My daughter recently lined up a “mama bear” and a “baby bear” and we chatted about the opposites of big and small which launched into a whole conversation about many different big and small things.
And, the most favorite thing of all … color practice and sorting! My 2 year old has mastered all of his colors and our counting bears provide a great realm for mini color quizzes. Next week, we’re going to do a graphing project – divide by color, count each cup and chart how many we have of each and what color we have the biggest collection of!
With the pressure of toy shopping, counting bears can ease things up – they’re a winner and they’re quite the deal too!