What is a good sorting toy for toddlers?

Learning to sort objects into simple categories is great for the intellectual development of toddlers and preschoolers.  Sorting toys come in a variety of styles – shapes, pegs, blocks, etc – that can be sorted by size, color, shape, pattern, etc.  We love the wooden toys as they stand up to most anything and will last for years.  Whether you keep them to pass on to others or sell them at a garage sale or resale shop, they will bring lots of fun play!

PlanToys Shape Sorter

PlanToys Shape Sorter

This wonderful wooden shape sorter from Plan Toys teaches colors, shapes,  and patterns. Playing with this toy can also help develop hand-eye coordination and fine muscle development.
Counting Stacker by Hape Toys

Counting Stacker by Hape Toys

This stacker from Hape Toys has lots of possibilites.  Preschoolers can learn their colors and can learn how to count.  Parents can ask their child to make certain patterns – such as “can you put one blue circle on each peg?”  Your child will be delighted to not only please you, but also being able to accomplish the simple tasks.
Check out our selection of toys for toddlers at http://www.cowandlizard.com/category/baby-toddler-toys
these first toys for toddler s will encourage coordination, imagination, dexterity and simple problem solving.
Happy Day!
the folks at Cow & Lizard

No Time to Make a Pan of Lasagna – Try These Lasagna Rolls

Lasagna is a great winter dinner – it is warm, it sticks to your ribs and most everyone likes it.  The only draw back is that it is time consuming to make.  A whole pan of lasagna does make feed our family for a couple of meals and makes great lunches.  I almost like re-heated lasagna better than the original cooked one – but I guess that is a matter of opinion.

Lasagna Rolls


  • 8 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 egg
  • 12 oz container of ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
  • 2 cups pasta sauce from a jar


  1. cook lasagna noodles per directions on the package
  2. drain when done cooking
  3. in a bowl, beat the egg
  4. add ricotta or cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and basil – mix all together
  5. spread the cooled noodles out on counter
  6. spread the cheese mixture equally on the noodles, leaving some space at the ends
  7. roll up the noodles tightly toward the end with a space
  8. put in a microwave safe bowl, cover and heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt at the ends
  9. add 1/4 cup pasta sauce over the top and put back into the microwave for 20-30 seconds or until it is warm
  10. OPTIONAL:  you can add a protein to these lasagna rolls such as pepperoni, cooked Italian Sausage or cooked Ground Beef

The neat and tidy little rolls are very appetizing to look at and easy to serve for a quick dinner or a hot lunch.  You can even wrap the rolls (without the pasta sauce) and store in the refrigerator or freezer and take them out at a later date.

Enjoy – it is a good eat for kids!

PlanToys Kitchen Stove

PlanToys Kitchen Stove

Safe and simple toys that revolve around food and cooking promote realistic role play, and encourage healthy eating.  Check out our selection of play food, kitchens and accessories at http://www.cowandlizard.com/category/play-food-kitchen-toys

Little Pounder – A Wooden Toy with Developmental Benefits

Little Pounder by Hape Toys

Little Pounder by Hape Toys

     show kids how to pound the peg through the hole and count each time he pounds and makes contact with the peg
     Make music – pretend the hammer is an instrument and sing out “tap, tap, tap” or “pound, pound, pound” each time the hammer hits the peg – make up a song or rhythm
     help kids discover the difference in power between the right, left, then both hands.

Double Rainbow Stacker – Naturally Fun!

double rainbow stacker

double rainbow stacker

  • Shape Matching – encourages children to match colors

   Notice that the star and blossom shapes are different and sort by shapes, instead and stack them without placing them on the posts


  • Visualization -once children stacks the shapes on the posts, view it from the top to see how the shapes make a color pattern – what a different perspective!
  • Fine Motor – let children explore and experiment solo with this toy and discover the patterns that can be made     


Stack and Swivel Clown

stack and swivel clown

stack and swivel clown

  • developed with a child’s developmental needs in mind
  • naturally fun
  • maple wood and nontoxic paints
  • color matching
  • shape recognition
  • enhances vocabulary
  • hand-eye coordination



  • watch your child stack, sort by size or color, tap or turn the rings over – then follow their lead
  • talk about what your child is doing
  • observe how your child creates different sequences of colors and shapes as they are placed on the post.  Is one or both hands used?  Is it the same design over and over or a different one?



First Play – Wooden Vehicles

First Vehicles Set
First Vehicles Set

This first vehicles set helps teach hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, encourages imaginative play and reinforces the concept of cause and effect.

  • -crafted by hand from select hardwood
  • -non-toxic dyes
  • -durable, chunky vehicles to withstand years of play
  • -easy rolling wheels & spinning propeller
  • -hand-sanded for a smooth finish



  • -identify each vehicle in set
  • -explain the use of each vehicle
  • -see if your child can recognize each vehicl
  • -count the vehicles
  • -ask simple questions while playing

First Play Dinosaur Grasping Toy by Melissa & Doug

Dinosaur Grasping Toy

Dinosaur Grasping Toy

  • -crafted by hand with select hardwood and non-toxic dyes
  • -twist and turn the pieces to create fun new poses
  • -a perfect first manipulative toy
  • -hand-sanded for a smooth finish


The bright purple tones and easy grasp shape of the dinosaur encourage the child to discover its many playful attributes.  The swiveling pieces twist, bend and turn every which way, providing hours of exploratory fun.

Playfully exploring the endless movememtns of the toy promotes problem solving skills, manual dexteritiy and reinforses the understanding of cause and effect.

Make the dinosaur walk back and forth in front of your child, stimulating visual tracking skills.

Count the dinosaur’s sections, and count the dots on each section, to help develop basic learning skills.

Point to and name each of the dinasuar’s sections (head, neck, tail, etc.).  Ask your child to point to a section you name.


Happy Play!

the folks at Cow & Lizard

Hape Toys – Love Play. Learn.

Hape believes that the future begins and belongs to our children.  It is our duty to leave them with infinite possibilities, not unsolvable problems.  Their toys are created to inspire play, learning and exploration of the world we live in, through responsible business practices, they aspire to leave that world in a better condition than when they received it.

Hape toys are designed first and foremost for children.  Each product is developed to enhance a child’s developmental skills.  Neither language, nor culture, nor gender impedes the intuitive play patterns.  What children see as fun, parents and educators recognize as age appropriate learning basics – social, sensory, physical, and emotional skills.  Using natural materials, water-based paints and strict quality and safety standards make every Hape toy an investment kids will love and parents can trust.

Hape Toys

Hape Toys


Happy Play!

the folks at Cow & Lizard

Beleduc – For All Children Everywhere in the World



Beleduc is a European educational toy range with more than 60 years of history.  Their products are sold in over 50 countries and are popular with children in Europe, Asia, American and Australia.


Learning by playing – with body, mind and soul.

Children are curious by nature.  They react to new experiences and investigate their own surroundings.  Beleduc products aim to address that curiosity to help them discover themselves and their world.  The innovative and child oriented design of their products encourage a delight for discovery and offers children experiences that are essential for learning during the first years.


At Beleduc, children play for children

Every good Beleduc idea (most are inspired by children!) is thoroughly tested by little players before production starts.  The important aspects like function, game content, learning, understanding and product safety are intensely evaluated.  Only when these aspects are found acceptable by everyone involved does a new product go to market.  Independent testing organizations randomly inspect Beleduc products and award certificated after examination against all international product safety standards, ensuring you of a safe toy.


Wooden puzzles – the best activity for the youngest

Puzzles help realize that, sometimes, the whole can consist of many small parts.  Puzzles encourage a child’s development by making the process of learning a playful experience and help children learn about the first basics of association and combination.

Beginner Band Set by Melissa & Doug

Beginner Band Set

Beginner Band SetMelissa & Doug's Beginner Band is a 7 piece set that helps teach listening skills, auditory discrimination, an introduction to musical instruments and fine motor skills; encourages creative expression and memory skills. EXTENSION ACTIVITIES: - ask your child to choose an instrument, identify its name and try playing it- ask your child to describe the sound the instrument makes-try all the instruments- ask your child to close his/her eyes while you play one of the instruments and ask her/him to identify the instrument- tap out a rhythmic pattern on a hard surface and ask your child to repeat the pattern using one or both castanents - try with different instruments- listen to various recorded pieces of music and ask your child to identify any instrument he/she recognizes in the recordingsMelissa & Doug Beginner Band Set


This is a wonderful set to introduce your toddler to musical instruments.  The Beginner Band Set is made of wood and comes nicely packaged in the wooden crate – great for storing the toys in.

Make some music!

the folks at Cow & Lizard