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Mystery "Junk" Box
Type: Games   Skills: Critical ThinkingLanguage & LiteracyPlay & Creativity
Conversations aren’t just for adults. Children can benefit just as much from a dialogue and an exchange of ideas. But knowing what questions to ask and how to ask them is essential to engaging children in an active dialogue. In this activity, you’ll learn how to turn everyday items into a creative guessing game. Mystery
What We Learn
Critical thinking skills
Vocabulary development
Observation skills
Supply List
Cardboard box
Construction paper
Old T-shirt
Miscellaneous household objects
Begin creating your mystery box by taking an ordinary cardboard box and cutting a hole in the top of it. Cut your hole to be about the diameter of a T-shirt hole.

Next, you and your kids can decorate the cardboard box by using construction paper, glue, stickers, markers, etc. Make the box colorful and fun-looking. For instance, you can draw giant question marks on the sides of the box.

Next, create a “reach-through” sleeve for your box by cutting off the top part of a crewneck T-shirt. Then tape or glue the perimeter of the neck part of the T-shirt to your hole opening.

Now that your mystery “junk” box is created, begin placing items inside it for your children to discover. Don’t think of your mystery “junk” box as being comprised of “junk. Rather, think of it as interesting things you have around the house that your kids have never seen or might now know how they work.

Many household items in your home will work. Some examples include: a turkey baster, an egg beater, a monkey wrench, binder clips, a hair scrunchie. Remember, of course, not to include any unsafe items, such as items with sharp edges.

When you play the mystery “junk” box game with your children, have the children shake the box and then reach in and choose an item. The items kids pull out of the boxes can be real conversation starters, which is a great way to engage them in conversations as well as an easy way for parents to practice using open-ended questions.
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