If you have been following this little series so far, you will recall me mentioning playing "Red Fish, Red Fish" with Little One in the bath. I was introduced to the idea of using craft foam as a bath toy by my friend Grietjie, over at Joyful Mama's Place, so I decided to make some fish for Little One and what a hit!
Now these little fish, or "fishies" as we refer to them, are wonderful for teaching more than just colours. They are also great for counting practice and learning body parts. Little One loves it when I stick a fish somewhere on his body. I get really animated and say something like, "Here comes the fishie, he's going to sit on your....tummy, ankle, chest! Little One now pre-empts me and calls out a body part before I can...too cute!
As far as counting is concerned, Little One has been counting to 10 for a few months now, but I realize this is simply rote memory. To understand the concept of "1" is an entirely different story. So when we count the fish, I place his hand or finger on each fish as he counts them...a good start to real counting.
To make the fish, you need to purchase some craft foam available from most craft stores or stationers. Make yourself a template out of cardboard and use this to trace your fish directly onto the craft foam with a pen or pencil. Then simply cut out. I often use puzzle pieces, cookie cutters, even flat toys, like the threading fish seen here, as a template and trace around it.
The craft foam sticks very nicely to the sides of the bath or tiles when wet. In fact, if you leave them there, they will more than likely still be stuck on by the next bath time. If they crease (when little one's scrunch them), they are easily straightened when they are laid flat again. And the last most important instruction, "Have Fun!"