Even as he loves his Playmobil, there is only so much time that Bear can be devoted to it each day. Sure, he likes his puzzles and his books, and all the usual, but when he has some indoor free time- and he isn't interested in Playmobil- I tend to steer him toward a particular shelf in our play area. It's set up as our Montessori area in that there are simple activities which I introduce and then Bear can do on his own independently.
It especially comes in handy when I an hanging with my small friends and Bear is looking for something to do. I change the activities every few weeks and they vary depending on what we have in our stash and what Bear might have requested to learn about. Most recently it was "snow". Next up is "knights and dragons and princesses and swords that look like lightsabers".
So snow. Here's what we've been doing and making:
~ coffee filter snowflakes
~ in the basket is a polar bear puzzle
~ a foam tree alphabet puzzle from the dollar store
~ in the snowman tin is a set of penguins I found at the Dollar Store. On the back of each igloo I wrote numbers on each of them from 1-5, then I drew the correlating amount of dots on the back of each penguin. Bear matched up the igloos with the penguins and then counted the penguins piled on each igloo to self correct.
~ a sensory tub filled with cotton balls and winter themed objects
~ a sequential snowman puzzle similar to these
~ I drew a simple snowman and Bear uses tweezers to decorate it
~ water cycle puzzle
~ an alphabet matching game created by Bev Evans
On the lower shelves I keep things that both Bear, and Ace and his small friends can reach. The snow theme keeps on there with a simple remote control penguin, some snow themed and easy reader books, and a bowl full of connectagons to create snowflakes with.
The babies have yet to go about their important work with the same skill and thoughtfulness as Bear. ;)