I found these little foam shapes in the Target dollar spot the other day. I bought three packs for "mommy school." Here's some fun you and your kiddos can have with little manipulatives like these:
1. Sorting by shape.
2. Sorting by color.
3. Counting by 1.
4. Counting by 5.
5. Counting by 10.
6. Creating shapes with the shapes.
7. Making patterns.
I'm sure there are many more, but these are what come to my mind. This exercise is what I am now calling play teaching. It's playing with your cuties, all while strengthening their little minds. If you can't find these little guys, here are some other ideas that you can do some of the same things with:
1. Pom Poms (see above). I had these left over from my oldest's bday party. Little one and I have had all kinds of fun with them.
2. Hair bands (if you're like us, you have tons).
3. Jelly Beans (if you dare).
4. Plastic Bugs (we have them in all types and colors).
5. Different kinds of small pasta.
I hope this inspires you to do some play teaching. Little one and I have been doing it in mommy school, but big sister is going to join in on the fun too!