I'm like a 'kid in a candy store' when it comes to discount school supplies. A year ago, around this time I found a ton of clearance pencils, erasers, and pencil cases in a craft store, and made a little activity tray for the girls (who were 2 at the time). For this activity tray, I showed the girls how to place the pencils in the pencil boxes, and how to put the erasers on the pencils. This year, I reintroduced the tray to the kids and we made up even more games with it...
The girls sorted the erasers by color into a plastic muffin tray, and still enjoyed placing the pencils in the cases:
We also played a matching game with the pencils since there were two of each kind. This was fairly tricky (especially for E) because some of the pencils had the same colors, but slightly different patterns:
Shortly after we started playing with these items, the girls asked if they could use the erasers as food for their babies. My initial reaction was 'Really? How does every single activity we do end up with the girls pretending to feed their babies?" (you have to realize that I grew up playing with blocks and trucks not dolls, so although I think their dramatic play with stuffed animals is cute, I'm not quite sure where it came from). Then I decided to follow my children's lead and play along (sneaking in a little learning along the way). So we opened up "L's Dinosaur Diner" (named after the dinosaur puzzle that served as the seat.
As visitors came to our diner, L the waitress had to take their orders and place the correct color and number of food items (erasers) in her serving dish and then their plates:
She had to memorize the orders and count carefully in order to please her picky customers. I invited E to join me for breakfast at the diner and we were both served exactly what we ordered. Then L had to count the total number of food items to calculate the bill. She really raked in the money:
This wasn't exactly the activity I had planned, but it turned out to be a lot of fun for all of us..