Figure It Out

  • toy animals
  • toy plates

Figure It Out

© CEFutcher/istockphoto

Toddlers are learning to think step-by-step and to string sentences and ideas together in a sequence that makes sense to them. They are learning to make inferences and figure things out on their own. Play these games to help toddlers use and strengthen their reasoning skills and put their reasoning into words.

  • Count three toy animals as you line them up. Give two of the bears a toy plate. Then say, Each bear needs a plate. How many more plates do we need? Continue with different quantities as long as the toddler is engaged.
  • Count out two or three different objects as you put them in front of a toddler. Then take one away. Ask him to tell you what is missing. Be patient, because it might take him time to process the information.
  • Count and place three objects in front of a toddler. Take two and hide them behind you. Ask him if he can tell you how many you are hiding.
    • Reveal the answer, and help him count the items you were hiding. Then together count all the items.
    • Let him take turns hiding some of the items. Think aloud as you solve each problem.

When you begin playing these games, toddlers may think your ability to figure out what is missing is magical. But after a while, they will begin to catch on and figure out the answers. Start playing easy games at first, and add challenges as toddlers become used to the game and are able to succeed.

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