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Cost: Free, just use whatever you have around your home.
1) Collect things from around the home and place in the box. For very young children you only need 3-4 things, for pre-schoolers around 5 things, primary school aged kids 10 things, high school 20-30 things. Make sure you know exactly how many things you have in the box.
2) Write a list of each item that is in the box and hide it near you.
3) Put the box on a table or on the floor near where people can sit.
4) Ask the children to sit around the box. Give them a certain amount of time to focus on what is in the box, really have a good look at it.
5) Next take the box away. Give each child a pencil and a piece of paper. Tell them how many objects were in the box. Ask them to try to remember what was in the box in any order and list them.
Image source: freedigitalphotos.net, 'Little Girl Thinking And Writing' By pat138241.
Children who are old enough to write can write their list down. Make sure the children hide their answers from each other.
6) The winner is the child who can remember the most items.
Aim: To enhance thinking and remembering skills in a fun way. To show children how to really focus on the moment.
Time: Give each group a set amount of time to look at the items and a set amount of time to try and recall them.
Players: One or more players, the more the better.
Why?: Gets the brain working, it's a cheap and fun activity that can easily be done at any time. It's a great challenge that is super easy to set up but really teaches children a lot.
Additions: For older children when you bring back the box add something else to it. It's interesting to see if anyone spots something that wasn't there before. A variation of this game would be to take some items away, put the box back and ask the children to tell you what is missing.