Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Guidecraft Educator Review #7 ~ Flower Match Garden Patch & Animal Train Sort and Match

by Carrie Wells, Ed.D. 
This month, the Guidecraft Educators are reviewing some great manipulatives for preschool-age children: Flower Match Garden Patch and Animal Train Sort and Match.


To use these sets, you place a magnetic board vertically in a slot in the wooden box. Then, you choose a card to copy by placing small plastic pieces on the board. The great thing about these sets (as with many of the Guidecraft toys) is that you can follow the directions OR be creative. Lydia is now 2 1/2 years old. I tried to demonstrate how to follow the picture card to make identical flowers, but this was pretty challenging for her to complete independently. Instead, I allowed her to play freely and make her own rules. Lydia loved combining different pieces to make all different types of flowers.

Lydia creating her own flowers.

Here are some other ways these sets can be used:
~Sort the different pieces by color in color-coded bowls.
~Sort the pieces by shape.
~Use the pieces as stencils to trace your own flowers or animals. 
~Lay the pieces directly on top of the cards on a flat surface (instead of creating them vertically on the peg board). 
~Place the pieces under paper and do crayon rubbings. 

Both of these sets would be great for children with fine motor delays or for occupational therapists to work with their clients on visual performance and object manipulation. They would also be great in a manipulative center in a preschool or kindergarten classroom.

BUY IT! You can purchase the Flower Match Garden Patch (RV $40) & Animal Train Sort and Match (RV $45).

WIN IT! What's great about this Guidecraft Educator group is that each month, one of us will be hosting a giveaway of the product that we have all reviewed. Visit Mommy Moment for a chance to win a Flower Match Garden Patch & Animal Train Sort and Match for a special child in your life. This contest is open to the US and Canada. 

* I received the aforementioned product for free to review. The opinions expressed are honest and provided without monetary compensation.

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