Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bunny Mallow Sorting!

We found some of these Jet-Puffed Bunny Mallows at my mom's house today right as we headed to the airport to catch our flight home. I brought them as bribery, but was happy to find another use for them.

This was our favorite airplane activity because it was fun, colorful, and involved eating treats! After being stuck on the runway for over an hour waiting to take-off, this was the perfect solution for a bored toddler. It is so nice when inspiration strikes right when it is needed!

Materials Needed: several handfuls of colorful Jet-Puffed Bunny Mallows, cardstock, and pastel markers (we used purple, pink, and yellow).

1. Draw several bunnies on a piece of cardstock. I picked three colors to sort, which was perfect for my son. You could do all four colors as well. I drew each bunny to represent one of the colors of marshmallows we'd be using (purple, pink, and yellow).

2. Have a cup of marshmallows easily accessible so that your child can start sorting. I handed my son the marshmallows one by one because we were on the airplane and I didn't want marshmallow bunnies all over the floor. Our flight was incredibly turbulent, so this activity was fun to do again while we were bouncing around a bit later in the day.

The pink and purple marshmallows can be a little tricky because they both kind of look pink. Sometimes I had to prompt my son by saying, "here is a purple marshmallow, where does it go?" instead of just letting him sort the pink and purple ones independently the whole time.

Once we filled up our bunnies we counted how many bunny mallows were on each bunny. We also tried having me tell him how many bunny mallows to put on each bunny (for example, in the picture below I told him to put 2 marshmallows on each bunny). He needed some prompting... older kids would do great with this.

The highlight of the activity was after we were done counting and sorting and got to eat a few marshmallows. The rest went back into the bag to be sorted later in the flight.

Language Building Activities:

- Practice counting from 1-10 (or a little higher) during this activity.
- Talk about the different colors. You can even introduce the term "pastels" and how the spring colors are lighter. Pastel pink, pastel purple, etc.
- Have kids request the color marshmallows that they want using a simple sentence, "pink marshmallow please" or more complex, "Can I have a pink marshmallow please?"
- We had several other bunny and spring things that we were playing with on our flight, so this activity fostered a lot of discussion about Easter, bunnies, hopping, eating, and stickiness!

I always find that activities that involve a little treat are so motivating for language building because you have a little extra help encouraging kids to talk when they know they'll get a little treat for doing it. I don't think sweets need to be overused, but around holidays, it always makes things a little more fun!

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