For almost the whole month, blog posts have been all about backpacks and various readiness for kindergarten learning activities. Can you guess what this one is about? It’s about just that…guessing. Round up a few small objects that are familiar to your child and a backpack. If your munchkin is still quite young you may choose to use one item and pop it into the backpack and “search” for it, using lots of langauge such as: where is the…? is it here? no, is it here? yes, etc. If your child is older you may be able to use several items grouped by the backpack. Have your child close eyes, pop one in and then guess which one is missing. 3 or 4 objects may be enough or you may be able to use more. Let your child hide one and you can guess what’s missing.
Remembering is a skill that improves with practice and this simple game will encourage your child to focus attention, too. We can understand some of children’s thinking by watching how they remember. Do they use the positions of objects, do they pick up and feel the ones that are left, or use another strategy?
Another variation is to guess what’s in the bag by asking some questions. Even older children will need guidance with this one. For example, an adult may ask a child to hide an item in the backpack and ask questions such as is it a circle shape, is it red, etc and from the answers guess which of the items it is. Then, the adult may hide one and suggest questions for the child to ask.
Kids even like to play this game all by themselves, even tho they know the answers, as they practice how the game works and cheer when they get the anwers.
While a backpack is not typically a toy or educational tool it nevertheless can be lots of fun and learning for all kinds of kindergarten readiness. Who’s better at guessing what’s missing–you or your little one?