Cian (16 months) has started showing an interest in matching colours. We used his gear toy as a jigsaw, to reinforce some colour matching.


  • Rainbow Caterpillar Gear Toy by Melissa and Doug
  • Basket


I put the coloured gears in the basket. Cian looked in the basket to find the pieces and match them to the caterpillar’s colours. As he did I named each colour, to reinforce the colour names.

He wandered off to look in the book basket, so I encouraged him to come back and complete the task.

I left this out and he kept coming back to this throughout the morning. He ended up climbing on to the coffee table to work. Look at the deep concentration.

He enjoyed tipping the gears off and doing it over and over again, giving himself a round of applause each time he completed it.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS (2013)

Communication and language

Listening and attention (16 to 26 months)

  • Selects familiar objects by name and will go and find objects when asked, or identify objects from a group.
  • Understands simple sentences (e.g. ‘Throw the ball’.)


Numbers (16 to 26 months)

  • Beginning to organise and categorise objects, e.g. putting all the teddy bears together or teddies and cars in separate piles.

Shape, space and measures (16 to 26 months)

  • Attempts, sometimes successfully, to fit shapes in to spaces or inset boards or jigsaw puzzles.