This activity took J’s matching skills up a notch and was cheap, very easy to prepare and from start to finish allowed for lots of play time.
First, we got some of those growing sponges from the dollar section as Target. I have no clue what these are actually called, but they come in little pill shapes and grow in warm water? I gave J a few new ones to play with during bathtime over the past few days. He’s still entertained by 2 or 3 at a time, so I might as well get good use out of that dollar. I tried implementing some learning during this time, keeping one in hot water and one in cooler water to see which grew the fastest. On another night we kept one still in a cup and the other he got to pour from one cup to the other to see if that made it grow faster. Honestly though, J was paying little attention to the mini-science experiment and just wanted to play with them.
We saved all the sponge creatures and when he finished the entire package I dried them all out and stored them with the packaging for a rainy day. On the back of the package, there is a silhouette of each creature along with its name. I cut those out into individual pieces and had J match the sponge creature to its silhouette. I keep a few different sets of these in ziploc baggies to pull out every now and then. As he improves, I increase the number to match each time. He thinks it’s a puzzle (and he loves puzzles).
This type of matching is actually a little more difficult because…
- they aren’t matching two exact items but rather an object and an image
- there is a size difference in the objects and images
- the silhoueete factor means there is little detail to each object and image, forcing to look at the outline of each object (and J often does not actually know what the object is so he must focus on shape)
- the colors of the image and object aren’t always the same
- Age attempted: around 33 months