Friday mornings, Kevin takes the boys out of the house so I can see clients. While it’s much cheaper than renting office space, it makes preparing fun stuff for strewing much more challenging. I am attempting to add some smaller shoebox learning centers that are easily portable for doctor’s appointments, waiting in restaurants, or hanging out at the design house.
Our first traveling shoe box was inspired by Anno’s Math Games 2, a book we’ve enjoyed quite a bit, but that is no longer in print. One of the chapters is devoted to “which one is different” questions that are much more thought-provoking than those I remember from Highlights Magazine. An example would be a picture that includes several objects that are similar in color, with one that varies slightly in function.
In this box I put glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs, small colorful dinosaurs, and various colored insects and arachnids. While they can be sorted by categories such as “those that glow,” and “those that do not glow,” or by color, number of legs, ability to fly, whether or not they are extinct, they are also excellent fodder for pretend rescue/attack scenarios while awaiting lunch.
The sorting scenarios become more fun for our kids when they are in the form of challenging one of the parents to figure out “which one is different.” We could call it “stump Daddy with the Dinos.”