Guessing games can help young kids learn

Sabin, DaVIS, HETRICK, ANDEREGG, Macalady, walker, darling and Katers

Children love guessing games. A favorite activity to do with young children is called “What’s in the Box?”

It’s something that parents and grandparents can do anytime, anywhere to get young children’s brains working.

You will need a special box to use only for this activity, an item to put in the box, and art supplies to help decorate.

Short prep time

Before you ever play the game decorate the box together. It should be a box with a lid that fits tightly like an oatmeal box. It can be larger also. Cover the box with paper and let your child color with markers or crayons or cover the box with stickers.

If the box is small enough you can take it in the car with you.

To start the game, secretly put something in the box and put the cover on tightly. Your child can shake the box, turn the box, and smell the box, but the box must stay shut. Then begin giving hints. You can tell the color, the size, the use, and other clues, but only give one clue at time. Your child can have as many chances as you want to guess what’s inside. For example, if you say it’s red, it’s round, and you throw it, the guess will probably be a ball.

After your child guesses what is in the box, another object goes inside. Maybe this time your child will pick out the object and have you guess.

As children get a little older the game can change. When you put the item in the box your child can ask you the questions. It is much harder for young children to think of questions but older children love to figure it out in twenty questions.

Building routine

Children of all ages love routine and this kind of activity is a great one to have as something that is always done at the same time. It might be played in the car with older children to help or while eating breakfast. Think of a routine situation in your life where this game would be fun to play

Activities like this get young children thinking and help develop vocabulary skills. Developing routines for young children can also help build feelings of security.

Think of other guessing games you can play with your children that will help to build brainpower like searching for items and using the words “warm” and “cold” for hints. Look in the toy box and give hints of characteristics or play 5 questions instead of 20. “I Spy with my Little Eye” is fun while waiting in line. Trade places with children being the leader. For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com and wnmufm.org/Learning Through the Seasons.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Grandparents Teach, Too is a non-profit organization of elementary and preschool teachers from Marquette, Michigan. The writers include: Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling, and Iris Katers. Their mission since 2009 is to help parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of young children provide fun activities to help prepare young children for school and a life long love of learning. They are supported by Great Start, Parent Awareness of Michigan, the U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, Northern Michigan School of Education, the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum and the Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education.