Halloween candy is more than a sweet treat; it’s also a treat to use for some learning activities with toddlers and preschoolers.
Usually, the first activity with Halloween loot is to sort it into different groups. Sometimes, kids will use the word teams and they will have their own categories. Adults would likely sort the candy into different kinds, like bars, packages, boxes of raisins, and the like, kids may make a team with all of the yellow wrappers, or a group of things that are round. However they do it, they are using some complex thinking.
When making groups or categories, first kids have to choose an item and given the variety, that can be difficult. Then, they have to look at another treat and compare the two in order to decide if it is the same or if it’s different. This will be easier for items that are obviously different, but some things may be quite similar, at least to us. Children have to pay attention to some features and ignore others. This is a lot of brain activity just to sort Halloween candies into groups. The groups might be favorite treats and ones that other people can have, but even though the sorting is simple, the thinking is complicated.
The best opportunities for learning use whatever is relevant to a child. In order to learn skills, kids need the same experiences over and over. After sorting Halloween candy, kids can help sort the laundry, or sort the forks and spoons in the kitchen drawer. You do not need to turn your house into a preschool boot camp. You can use ordinary items that happen to be available. By taking advantage of just a few minutes, you are helping your child to learn and practice some important thinking skills. What else can you do with Halloween treats?
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