As all parents and teachers have seen over the past few weeks and months, keeping kids entertained and learning isn’t easy! One idea? Using Table Trash Cans to create easy, engaging, and educational games and activities.
Set up these activities and games in an area that is safe and free of anything that could break easily!
ACTIVITY #1: Letter Hunt
To play Letter Hunt, write a letter on each of the Table Trash Cans using a dry erase marker, or write the letters on small pieces of paper and tape one on each of the Table Trash Cans.
Next, send you children on a hunt to find tiny items in the house that start with each of the letters on the Table Trash Cans. You can choose to add a time limit to make the activity more exciting. Once kids are done with the first round, simply change the letters on the Table Trash Cans and send them off to search for new items that start with the new letters.
ACTIVITY #2: Arcade Math
For Arcade Math, write a number on each of the Table Trash Cans (using a dry erase marker or pieces of paper as mentioned in Activity #1). The numbers you choose will depend on what your child is learning in school. For example, if your child is learning to add within 100, the sum of the numbers on the Table Trash Cans should be 100 or less.
Next, place the Table Trash Cans in a row facing the same direction so that the numbers are visible. After that, place a piece of tape about five feet away from the trash cans for the child to stand on. Give your child a small ball, such as a tennis ball. Have your child toss the ball into the Table Trash Cans, adding the numbers each time they get the ball inside one of the Table Trash Cans. The goal is to reach their target number (in this example, the target is 100) in the least number of tosses possible.
If you have more than one child doing the activity, create a game out of it. To do this, give the players a specific number of tosses that they are allowed, with the same goal to reach their target number. For example, you can give each player five tosses. The player that gets closest to 100 is the winner.
ACTIVITY #3: Color Match
For Color Match, you will need balls that match the colors of the Table Trash Cans. The balls will need to be relatively small, as they will be tossed into the Table Trash Cans.
This activity is very simple – children toss the ball into the Table Trash Can of the same color. Since this activity is mostly appropriate for Pre-K – Kindergarten students, make it an activity rather than a competitive game.
ACTIVITY #4: “Trash”Ketball
“Trash”ketball is best with two players, however, it can be also be played by a single person in a non-competitive way. Find the instructions below.
Object: To shoot as many “baskets” as possible while solving math equations.
Materials (Per Player):
- 10 Pieces of Scrap Paper
- 1 Pencil
- 1 Table Trash Can
- A solid surface for writing, such as a clipboard, dry erase board, book, etc.
- Place a Table Trash Can approximately five feet away from each player. Mark the floor with a piece of tape for the players to stand on.
- You will need a “referee” to play this game, preferably an adult.
- The youngest player is Player #1, the second oldest is Player #2, and so on.
How to Play:
- The referee writes down a math equation for each student playing on a piece of paper. The equations should be age appropriate. The referee then says Player #1 and their equation, followed by Player #2 and their equation, and so on.
- Players must solve the equation on their scrap paper and hold it in the air for the referee to check. The referee will signal that a player is ready to start shooting by saying which player is correct and then yelling, “SHOOT!” For example, if Player #2 shows the correct answer on their scrap paper first, the referee shouts, “Player #2 – SHOOT!”
- Once a player is told to “shoot” they crumple up their scrap paper into a ball and start shooting into their Table Trash Can.
- Once a player scores a point, the round is over, and all other players stop shooting. If a player accidentally scores in an opponent’s “basket,” the opponent gets the point.
- At the end of the round, the player with the most baskets wins.
By Nicole Morelli
Nicole Morelli formerly taught first, second, and third grade. Before teaching, she was a paraprofessional, where she assisted in multiple elementary grades and a special needs class. Nicole has worked at Really Good Stuff for a little over two years as a Product Developer and Content Manager. Her specialties are STEM education and social-emotional learning. She has a lot of fun developing products for those topics.