I made this felt gumball machine a few weeks ago for my middle son's fifth birthday. We used it as a game and played Pin the Gumball in the Machine, as pictured above. But since then, my two year old and I have had a good time with it as a learning game. (That is my two-year-old in the picture. So cute!)
We have used it for colour recognition: "Let's put all the green gumballs on."
Counting: "How many gumballs are there?"
We've combined both concepts: "How many orange gumballs are there?"
We've done simple math: "Three gumballs in the machine, now we'll put on two more. How many do we have? What if we take off a gumball?"
We've made comparisons: "Are there more red gumballs or more yellow gumballs?"
We've also made patterns with the gumballs as we put them on. "First blue then green, then blue, then green..."
Who knew there were so many ways to learn and play with a felt gumball machine?
*PS: his favourite is when we play with it, and then gets a real gumball when we are done!*