A watter bottle with colorful cotton balls.
Target age: 9 months - 3 years old
It goes with us to church, to meetings, to waiting rooms, to restaurants -- Anywhere that the kids might be asked to sit more still and quieter than their usual attention span might allow.
And the concept is simple. Put the cotton balls in the bottle.
From the learning aspect, we are targeting fine motor skills, colors, sorting, and concentration. At home, we've integrated an egg cartons and tweezers as the kids grow older. And at the restaurant when our food was taking far longer than normal--out came our cotton ball bottle, and the whole family enjoyed blowing cotton balls around the table using straws. When you're equipped with fancy cotton balls, your imagination works with you when you need to wait.
Which hand is it in?
Hide a cotton ball in the room and find it.
Find something that is "this" color.
Which color do we have the most of?
Sort the colors.
Needless to say, this has been a lifesaver in my magic bag of tricks.