Flower & Butterfly Stacking Toy
This beautiful resource is made of wood and soft fabric. The base and central dowel are a natural, light coloured wood. The little butterfly that sits atop the tower is wooden with fabric wings. The flowers have a wooden disc in the centre, acting as a representation of the ‘stamen’ of the flower, while the outer ‘petals’ are made of a soft fabric.
The central wooden discs of these flowers set the child up for success by creating a more rigid frame to place around the dowel. The fabric petals create a beautiful sensory experience for tiny sensitive fingertips!
Initially this is a hand-eye coordination activity, encouraging dexterity and motor control as the little one attempts to ‘thread’ the flowers onto the dowel in any order. It also possesses the potential for many extensions – such as mastering the more cognitive concept of ordering the flowers based on size and introducing the sensory concepts of colours and dimensions.
Each of the flowers is a different colour so it provides a great opportunity to identify the names of colours. The material also offers a chance to introduce the descriptive language relating to size – for instance, the adult can help the child compare which flower is “largest” and which is “smallest”, or to look for a “larger” or “smaller” size.
One great detail (I’m not sure whether it’s intentional or just a happy accident!) is that the three primary colours – yellow, red, blue – are placed at the top, the centre and the bottom of the stack. This allows the adult to isolate these three flowers without disrupting the pattern of the tower. This might be done to focus on introducing the names of the primary colours or to focus on the vocabulary of “small, medium and large”.
A particularly special feature is the fact that the central dowel is actually not connected to the base. It sits securely within a small cavity in the base. This is enough to keep it stable and upright as the child stacks the flowers. Yet it also allows the child to topple the tower once all the pieces have been stacked. This presents an example of ‘cause and effect’ and provides an engaging point of interest to help encourage the child to engage in repetition and therefore concentration. Any adult who cares for bubs will have found themselves in the midst of a seemingly endless game of ‘pick up the object that baby just dropped and give it back to baby so that baby can drop it again so that the adult can pick up the object….(repeat ad nauseum!)’. The unique ‘topple’ action of this stacking tower takes advantage of the little one’s natural feeling of joy at the sense of power that comes from ‘causing’ an action – but in this case the bub can also correct the spill independently! So all the advantages remain of that wonderful and joyful game of repetition but it is no longer reliant on the participation of the adult – so the game can continue even if the baby’s concentration span is longer than the adult’s patience!
The general age recommendation listed by the manufacturers for this product is 18 months+.