Whether you're a preschool teacher or a parent educating their little one at home, investing in toys can be expensive. One way to keep costs down is to buy toys that can be used for a variety of purposes. Wooden vegetable toys, for example, are a great tool for educational role plays of all kinds. Here are 3 ways you can teach your children with these wholesale wooden toys.
Teach Pre-Literacy with Cooking Role Play
Real reading and writing education usually doesn't start until the school years, but that doesn't mean preschool-aged children can't get a head start by developing their pre-literacy skills. One great way to do this is by role-playing cooking scenarios with wooden vegetable toys. When acting out cookery, young children develop their vocabularies with useful woods, from food nouns to instructional verbs like 'stir' and 'mix'. You can also print out and laminate some 'recipes' (with clip art and basic instructions like 'put two carrots in the pot') to use with your vegetable toys to encourage your children to recognise and develop an interest in words and letters. The instructions in these recipes will also help children understand basic literacy concepts like chronological order.
Teach Pre-Numeracy with Shopping Role Play
Alongside literacy, mathematical learning can also begin at a basic level in the early years. Shopping role play with wooden toys is a great way to build these pre-numeracy skills. Pair your wooden vegetables with some wooden coins, then print and laminate a very basic 'price list' for your shop (for example, "one apple, two coins"). As you play, your children will learn how to count, which is one of the most important early mathematics skills children need. If a child wants to 'buy' more items than they can afford, you can also help them develop simple subtraction and problem-solving skills by removing items from their toy basket. On top of that, you can teach shapes and sizes by asking children if they have any round food in their shop, for example, or asking what the smallest vegetable they have is.
Teach Pre-Science with Gardening Role Play
It's no surprise that many of today's parents want their children to take an interest in science, as the field of STEM careers (jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is growing rapidly. You can start getting children interested in scientific concepts at a young age through role play, and gardening is a great scenario to start with. One teaching opportunity is to explain how vegetables are planted and grown by burying them in the sandbox and digging them up again. While doing so, you can explain the basic concepts behind plant biology, such as how plants need sunlight and water to grow. Another option is to introduce toy animals into your 'garden' to teach the foundations of food chains.