LET’S PLAY: Melissa & Doug Nesting and Sorting Garages and Cars
Recommended for ages 2 and up, this was an instant hit for my daughter. She loved this toy! The garages are vibrant, colorful, and made out of sturdy cardboard. Each garage is a solid color with a brick design. On the front of each garage is a number with an opening for the car to park. On the back of the garages are pictures of a car that coincides with its number. The sizes of the garage go from big to small, #1 being the largest and #7 being the smallest. The cars are wooden with the numeric number on one side and the spelled-out number on the other, and the size of each car also goes from large to small so that it fits inside each corresponding garage.
Here are some ways we’ve played and learned with these toys:
Label Colors- My daughter and I started just by naming the colors of each car and garage. “Red!” “Orange!” etc.
Label Numbers – We’d also just say each number of the car and garage. She loved counting the cars on the back as well.
Sort/Match Colors – I would have her match by color. “Put the red car in the red garage” – “Match the purple color”
Sort/Match Numbers – She would also match and sort by number by putting the #1 car in the #1 garage, etc.
Sort by Size – I would tell her to line up the garages or cars from big to small, or from smallest to biggest/largest, or stack them from biggest to smallest. She also loved fitting the smaller ones into the bigger ones in order.
Listening Skills with Prepositions – This one was her favorite. I’d give her an instruction that included a preposition and she would place the car or garage in the correct spot. For example, I’d say “put the #1 car INSIDE the garage” – and give her time to do so. Then I’d give her another instruction “put the #2 car ON TOP of the garage” … and she learned so many prepositions from this such as behind, outside, in front, over, under, etc.
Labeling Prepositions – Once she was able to follow instructions prepositions, I switched it around and would place the car/garage a certain way and ask her “Where’s the car?” and she would respond with the prepositions of “on top” or “inside” etc.
Listening Skills with Adjectives – Using the same method I did to teach her prepositions, I would do the same with adjectives. “Point to the largest box” or “give me the smallest car”
Independent Play Skills – I loved just letting her play by herself and see what she would do. When she was younger she would just stack them 1-7 like a tower and put the corresponding cars inside.
Turn Taking – I practiced turn taking with her by stacking the garages or lining them in order. My daughter would start (or me), then I would say “my turn” and put the #2, then she would take her turn, etc. She loved when we added more people and took turns.
Motor Skills – Stacking works on motor skills, but another way to work on motor skills is to roll the car into the correct color garage. We had a blast doing this!
Pretend Play – This is a fun toy to do pretend play with. We make a city with the car garages, make car noises, have car number one visit car number six, or just stack them up high and pretend the cars are parking.
Independent Play Skills – I loved just letting her play by herself and see what she would do. When she was younger she would just stack them 1-7 like a tower and put the corresponding cars inside, but as her imagination started to develop she does a lot more of the pretend play. One time I caught her teaching her stuffed animals prepositions. She would tell her penguin “Where’s the blue car? Oh it’s behind the garage”
The list goes on with activities you can learn with this toy. These were just a few of the ones my daughter and I would do. What would you do with these toys? I’d love to hear your creative ideas. Send me a message, or comment. Can’t wait to hear from you!
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