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Extraordinary Play with Ordinary Things - Excerpt

Extraordinary Play with Ordinary Things

Make-it-yourself, do-it-yourself activities that encourage your child’s development

GAMES TO PLAY WITH CANS

CAN STACKING

Give your child empty cans to stack up, one can on top of the other, and see how big a tower can be made before it all falls over. Play together if you want them to practice “turn-taking” skills.

CAN DUMBELLS

Have a weight-lifting session using full cans of tomato or other juice as dumbbells. Demonstrate lifting them from shoulder height to straight up over head. Start with a bent arm and go to a straight-arm position and back.
Or hold the cans with straight arms out is front and go to an arms open wide position,
Do as many “reps” a possible. Use smaller size cans for little ones

CAN NESTING

Find empty cans of different sizes such as cans for peaches, peas and tomato paste. Clean them well and make sure there are no sharp edges. Paint or cover with paper or magazine pictures if want.
These make great nesting toys for little ones and teaches them about the difference in sizes from biggest to smallest.

CAN BOWLING

Set soft drink or other aluminum cans in a pyramid shape and use a ball or beanbag to knock them over. Remember the smaller the ball is, the harder the task will be.
Ask your players to count how many were knocked down each time if counting is a skill that needs reinforcing.

CAN AIM

Set up a series of empty cans on top of a table or box and draw a line a few away, depending on the skill level of the players. The idea is to knock the cans over using another can as a “ball”

CAN SHELL GAME

This is a version of the old carnival shell game. For young children, use one large can and one small one and hide a treat (raisin, peanut, cracker) under one of the cans. Then shuffle the cans around as if you are trying to confuse the child as to which can is covering the treat. Actually all the child needs to notice and learn is whether the treat was under the big can or the small one.
For older children, use three identical size cans and shuffle them around to see whether they can stay focused and keep track of which can has the treat under it!

And 17 more CAN games! (CAN TOWER RELAY, MARACAS, STILTS, etc.)

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