Activity: Toy Box Treasure Hunt

AgeRange: 2 to 4

Purpose: This activity helps increase your child’s critical thinking skills, memory skills, and counting skills.

Supplies Needed: A big basket, an assortment of your child’s favorite toys

Instructions:  You can play this outside or inside, and with any number of toddlers. This is also a perfect game for days when the weather prevents outside play. With your child, go through their toy box and choose the toys they have most in abundance. For example, some little girls may have ten or fifteen dolls, or a little boy may have a dozen toy cars.

Ask your toddler to count their toys and give you the final number. After counting, ask your toddler to sort the toys according to size. Once they are finished, ask them to remember the number of toys they counted as well as the size. Send them in the other room for a short count to 50. If your toddler hasn’t got the hang of counting to 50 yet, just ask them to recite their ABC’s a few times while they wait. Hide their toys on a room making sure they are all plainly visible.

Call your toddler back into the room and have them find each of their toys and place them in their basket. Let them take as much time as they need so that their memories are actively used to find each of the sorted toys. After they have claimed to find all of the hidden toys from their toy box, ask your toddler to re-count them.

If they have found all the toys on the first try, congratulate them for a job well done. If not, gently remind them of the number they told you prior to hiding the toys. For more in depth assistance, ask hem to identify the toys not present. This will encourage them to think about what’s missing and seek those toys accordingly.