It’s no secret that young children learn best with visual aids and hands-on learning. And, it’s never too early to start educating your children and teaching them about the world around them!
Baby M is 17 months old and I have been working with him in short sessions every day on letters, colors, shapes, numbers, vocabulary and more. He is already able to point out and differentiate A, B, and C–whether on paper or on a solid object like a letter block or bathtub toy. It’s exciting to see his fascination with learning, particularly when I offer him objects to see, hold and feel that relate to what we are learning.
In my pursuit of teaching Baby M the preschool basics, I stumbled upon Lakeshore Learning, a company that offers an incredible variety of teaching tools and school supplies for parents and teachers. One of their products that interested me the most was the Teaching Tubs made exclusively by Lakeshore. I decided to purchase the Alphabet Sounds Teaching Tubs, absolutely loved them, and recently Lakeshore sent me a set of Rhyming Sounds Teaching Tubs to review. I can’t wait to tell you about these fantastic teaching tools!
The Rhyming Sounds Teaching Tubs include 10 plastic tubs with 40 miniature objects (that’s 4 per tub). Each tub has a sticker on the top and side that says “Rhymes with…” and has a picture of the object intended for rhyming. One of the 4 objects in the tub matches the picture, and the other 3 objects rhyme with it. For example, one tub says “Rhymes with [Snail]” and there is a miniature Snail, Whale, Pail and Scale in the tub. On the underside of the lid, there is a list of the objects that belong in that particular tub–which makes for really easy set up and clean up of the tubs, and also clarifies that the pail is in fact a “Pail” in this learning exercise and not a “Bucket” to avoid potential confusion. Having the words written out also helps young students visualize the word endings of each rhyme.
The Teaching Tubs arrive with assembly required, however the assembly is really no big deal–actually kind of fun–and took me just 15 or 20 minutes to get everything set up.
There are 3 stickers per tub to apply to the lid and container, and the can of soup miniature also had a sticker label to apply. Then the miniature objects had to be sorted into the proper containers. Baby M was a little too young to “help,” but preparing the tubs would actually be a fun activity for older children.
A booklet is included with suggestions for fun learning activities you can do with the Teaching Tubs. For the time being, the concept of rhyming is still a bit advanced for Baby M. So, for now I like to use the objects as vocabulary, alphabet, color and counting teaching tools. He loves to examine each miniature object while I talk about what it is. The objects are also great for bringing books or stories to life. For example if we read a book about dogs, I’ll give him the dog miniature to hold while I read to him. Afterwards I might ask him to point out the eyes, ears, tail and paws of the dog and then tell him what sound the dog makes, note that “dog” starts with “D,” and tell him what color the dog is. I make a point to reserve the Teaching Tubs and their miniature objects only for “learning time” like this so that they hold Baby M’s attention. Also, the Teaching Tubs do contain small parts and are technically for children ages 3 and up, so I do have to pay close attention that they don’t go near his mouth.
These are some of Baby M’s favorite miniatures included in the Rhyming Sounds set, with a nickle in the picture to show you what size the objects are:
As a mentioned earlier, we also have the Alphabet Sounds Teaching Tubs. I would have to say this set is my favorite. Each of these tubs comes with an uppercase and lowercase letter and 6 miniature objects that begin with that letter. For example, the tub for letter M includes an uppercase “M,” lowercase “m,” mop, mirror, mouse, mail box, milk and mug. I really enjoy using these Teaching Tubs to focus on the alphabet with Baby M, and he is learning so much through them.
One of the best things about the Teaching Tubs is that almost every tub has plenty of room to add small objects you might find outside, at the dollar store, on a vacation, etc. Finding an object to add or identifying which tub a new object goes in would be an excellent learning activity in and of itself!
As you can see, there are SO many different ways to use these Teaching Tubs as learning tools in everyday life. They are wonderful for parents to use with their children, and they are also excellent for the classroom! I know we will get many years of use out of these and I really feel they are well worth the investment. I would highly recommend them to any parent or teacher!
You can purchase the Rhyming Sounds Teaching Tubs
for $59.95 at Lakeshore Learning!
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