Pretend play is a great activity for young minds, and common toys can be used in creative ways to teach kids basic numeracy, language, and sensory skills.
- Flip the tea cups upside down and place a small object underneath one of them. Move them around, then ask your child if they remember which cup the object is under.
- Fill the teapot with candy and ask your child to guess how many pieces are inside.
- Make a new game for older kids by using bouncy balls or coins to toss into the tea cups.
- Ask your child to put on a play using the tea set as a prop.
- Take the set into the bath or sandbox for a unique sensory experience.
- Hide pieces of the tea set around the house and create a scavenger hunt. Give clues and let kids know when they are hot or cold in their search.
- Roll a pair of dice and add that many pieces to your stack.
- Sort each piece by color, then count the number of pieces you have.
- Practice basic addition and subtraction by asking questions like, “I have three pieces and you have two. How many bricks do we have?”
- Stack your blocks tall and pretend you’re bowling by using a ball to knock them over.
- Use your favorite pieces to mold salt dough or clay.
- Build a castle for dolls or action figures.
- Ask your child to write the spelling of each color using the blocks.
Plastic Animal Figures
- Expand your child’s vocabulary by asking specific questions, like “Is the lion ferocious or is he gentle?”
- Match animals that are similar colors or patterns.
- Create shadows outside by placing a sheet of paper behind each animal, then trace them to create a piece of art.
- Ask your child to recite the sounds each animal makes.
- Have your child write a story about their favorite animal from the bunch.
- Teach your child the difference between herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores before asking which group each animal belongs to.
- Ask your child what letter each of the animals’ names start with.