Observe the child indoors and in the back yard or a park. Take toy trucks, cars, tractors and farm or zoo animals. Observe the child with toy food, animals, and nature items like leaves, sticks, and rocks. See how he groups the items, uses the toys, and combines the natural and toy items.
The adult can place rocks, grass, leaves and sticks in with the vehicles and animals. If needed the adult can suggest things like, “The animals are hungry for grass.”
The child may then begin to put the nature items or the animals in the trucks, demonstrating he knows that trucks carry things.
Not all families can afford to buy sets of toys for their child, but nature offers many options. Just a few simple toys or found objects can enable children to experiment with how things work and can be combined.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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