Problem solving for toddlers

 Noah is quite an inquisitive little chap and really enjoys taking his time to work out the problem at hand. Whether it be deciding which shape is going to fit into which slot on his shapes jigsaw, or how to help mummy switch the hoover on or off, he just wants to be involved in everything and gets so much out of figuring things out for himself.

I have really noticed how he likes to solve problems for himself and one game we play together is super simple, costs next to nothing, but gives him the greatest satisfaction when he gets to do it himself. We use an empty plastic water bottle and fill it with small objects, be they raisins, paper balls or pasta pieces. Noah likes to pop the objects through the opening at the top and then work out how to get them out again! 
It sounds so simple and it really is, but for him it is a puzzle of learning that he can't reach the pasta with his fingers and he has to tip the bottle upside down to empty the contents. This apparently simple game can provide half an hour of fun in our house as we explore different things we can put into the bottle and different ways of retrieving those items. He particularly loves shaking the bottle upside down- the faster the better! 

The way young children learn is fascinating to me, especially in the way it only takes a really simple game to develop fine motor skills and precision. The truth is that you don't have to go out and spend a small fortune on toys, just look around your kitchen for inspiration! I did a post a while back about how we enjoyed using kitchen pans as a drum kit which you can read (here), it just goes to show that kids don't need money being spent on them to learn, there is a wealth of resources around you that can be used to explore and solve the next problem!

I hope this comes in handy for any of you mummies out there!
love Bunty


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