First off, I suggest that you begin by going around your house and collecting up stray toys that seem to get lost in the shuffle and just don't have a spot to reside. Put them all in a big box. It doesn't matter what you collect since there are so many different things you can do with the toys. You don't really have to have a "mental checklist" of "must haves" for your box. In my box I have: 3 cars, 2 trains, 2 small balls, 3 plastic animals, 2 puzzle pieces (the puzzle no longer has all the pieces and was going to be tossed), 1 whistle, and 1 noisemaker. I could've collected more, but I have a young child and didn't want to overwhelm him.
Today, I will blog activities for older children...
- Have your child sort the toys by category. You could do color, shape, size, use/function, etc.
- Select two (or more) items and have your child compare/contrast the items shown.
- Have your child create a definition for the item that you pull out of the box. (see the blog post from August 5, 2011 to discover an easy formula for definitions)
- Set out a few items and have your child either describe the item that he/she is thinking about until you can pick it out or you describe the object and let your student/child find the target object.
The key to all of these activities is the fact that YOU are ENGAGING with your child. Plus, you have a purpose for some of those stray toys that didn't have a home!