Turn a routine outing into a learning experience and a fun game!
- index cards
What You Do Together:
1 Before setting out on a regular errand in your neighborhood, talk with your child about the things you'll see on the way. Explain where you're going (the grocery store, the post office, the fire station) and how you'll get there (by car, by train, by bus, or on foot). Ask your child what people, places, and things he thinks you might see. Write down the things he mentions.
2 Go on your neighborhood trip together. Play "I Spy," taking turns giving each other clues about something you see. For example, "I spy a place where people buy bread" (bakery); aI spy a vehicle with many people in it" (bus); "I spy a person who puts out fires" (firefighter). Ask your child to try to remember as many of the things you see as he can.
3 Back home, talk about all the people, places, and things you saw on your trip. Compare the things you actually saw with the things you listed before the trip. What did your child see that he had mentioned? What did he see that he didn't expect to?
4 Invite your child to make a set of riddle cards. On separate index cards, he can draw a picture of each thing he saw on the trip (such as a bakery, a bus, or a firefighter). Help your child label his drawings. Then help him to write an "I Spy" clue on the other side of each card (such as "I spy a place where people buy bread"). Your child can use the cards to play a riddle game with a friend or family member.
This activity originally appeared in the March, 1998 issue of Early Childhood Today.