This favorite product post is dedicated to the Fisher Price Brilliant Basics Shape Sorter.
Shape sorters are always fun. They teach some great skills and can last for a long time even as your preemie learns new things. I like the Fisher Price shape sorter (although I have the slightly smaller version) for several reasons. Simplicity - the container itself is very simple so that kids can more easily concentrate on putting the shape blocks inside. Removable lid - you can use this product to teach your preemie about putting items in or taking items out before he/she can shape the blocks which makes it a long lasting toy.
Here are some great ways to use this toy to encourage your preemie's development:
1) Put in/Take out - put all the blocks into the container and then take off the lid. Encourage your preemie to take the blocks out of the container. You may need to add additional items to the container so that they are closer to the top and easier to reach. Once your preemie has mastered this skill, encourage him/her to put the items back in.
2) Shape sorting - start with just one shape. Offer your preemie one block and then encourage your preemie to put it into the container. Use your hands to cover up all of the shaped holes so that it is easy for your preemie to put it into the correct spot. Offer new shapes and more options as your preemie masters the skill.
3) Same - Use the blocks to encourage your preemie to sort the blocks into the same color/shape piles. Show your preemie how two of the blocks are the same and then try and get him/her to do the same.