Posting items into a slot strengthens problem-solving skills and early mathematical concepts as tamariki match the shape they hold with the shape of the slot. When played with whānau, language-building and turn-taking are supported.

Why do it?

  • Posting items through a slot develops children’s hand–eye coordination.
  • It also encourages problem solving — in this activity, the lid will only fit through the slot at a certain angle.
  • In addition, it gives children a chance to experience a challenge and achieve success.
  • It could also be developed into a turn-taking activity.
  • As with most other activities, it’s an opportunity for whānau to use language-building strategies — parallel talk, self-talk and stretch talk.

How to do it

  • You’ll need a container with a lid (an ice cream container is ideal).
  • You can cut an opening in the side (optional) for easy retrieval once lids have been posted through the slot.
  • You’ll need several round lids that are too big to fit inside a cling wrap roll (to avoid them being a choking hazard).
  • Cut a slot in the container lid that the posting lids will fit through sideways.
  • Offer the container with the lid on, and the lids for posting, to your toddler.
  • Watch what happens and guide or model for your child, if necessary.
  • Let them repeat the posting activity until they lose interest.
  • When they’re ready for another challenge, choose another safe object, such as a block, and cut a second slot in the container lid for it to fit through.

Using more te reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Ipu taupoki Bottle top
Do it again
Kuhuna ki roto Put it in
Release, let go
Purua Put in
Ko koe te tuatahi You go first
Ko au te tuarua I'll go second
Nōu te wā Your turn
Nōku te wā My turn
Kohia ētahi... Collect some...
Homai te... Give me the...
Mauria mai te... Bring me the...
Kohiā te mātiti Pick up the peg
To slide, slide down
Drop out
Haere ki raro Going down