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Sorting the Counting Bears

Sweet Pea is 23 months old.


A few weeks ago I wandered into The Supply Closet (a teacher supply store) and found some counting bears that I had read about on 1+1+1=1 .   The bears I bought were actually a little different and more expensive than the ones Carissa recommended because there are more bears and they come in more sizes.  I could see a lot of potential for tons of different tot school activities with these.  To start, I wanted to try to do a sorting activity with her so I mixed blue and red bears in one basket (From the $1 section at Target) and put it and 2 other empty baskets on her tray.  Sweet Pea is in love with teddy bears and started yelling “teddy teddy teddy” as soon as she saw the bears.   She really wanted to pick up the bears and play with them.  Then she started kissing them.


I had a little trouble getting her focused on what I wanted her to do with the bears because she was so excited.  I showed her how to separate the red and blue bears and she quickly caught on, but then seemed a little bored.


I decided to step it up a notch so I brought out some yellow bears and scattered all the bears on the tray.


I showed her how to sort them and she seemed to understand, but got up and wandered away before she was halfway done.   She didn’t seem interested in sorting by size either.  We were quickly done with sorting the teddies.

I felt like I’d sort of taken the magic out of the teddies for her by showing her so explicitly what to do with them.  Later when she started asking “Teddy, teddy, teddy” again, I decided we should use them in a much less structured way.  I just let her have them and she really seemed to like playing make believe with them… walking each teddy around on the table.  She loved playing with them this way.

I don’t know why the sorting didn’t work very well.  I was surprised it didn’t go over better.  Maybe she was too old for it or just had a better idea of what she wanted to do with them.

Notes from the Trenches: There is an obvious choking hazard here  (especially the littlest bears).

Rating: 2 stars (Easy, Independent, and what is the opposite of Frugal?)

3 comments to Sorting the Counting Bears

  • {chuckling} I LOVE your blog tag line! Barney has been playing anew and afresh here at our house since L’il Man came of age to enjoy the singing . . . 🙂

    Great teddy bear post. I’ve had the same type of thing happen, only to have my boy suddenly be very interested a few weeks later. Wild, eh?

  • My 20 month old couldn’t care less about color sorting. She’ll do two to three to indulge me and then she’d rather do her own thing with whatever it is I want her to color sort. I just keep trying every few days. I know she can do it; maybe it’s just not that interesting to some children.

  • You probably got the name brand version, which is what tends to be sold at teacher supply stores. I’m guessing it has 4 different colors and 3 different sizes of bears? It’s a great brand of supplies, and they’ve come up with all sorts of additional activities you can do with it.

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