I am working with 4-6 year olds. We've been using some exercises to acquire and build new vocabulary. Now I am introducing the TA, slightly modifying our habitual tasks.

Task 1. Numbers. I show the children numbers (from 1-20) at a random order, but still I make a line with them so to count correctly. Then I ask the children to close their eyes and I turn the card upside down. When the children open their eyes, they have to guess, by comparing the numbers near the hidden one, what for number is there.

This is about guessing and comparing. After that I give them three or four numbers and we play the game "Odd one out". They have to find the criteria.  Their guesses - different colour, different number of digits, I had to help them with different meaning of the numbers.

2. We used to play the game "Colours"- I showed them the colour and those who have the clothes of this colour, had to step forward. Now I'm using different hoops and tell them, that those who have this colour should jump in the same hoop. The game continues with the clothes: those, who are wearing socks, please, jump in this hoop, all the rest should wait for their words for clothes.

3. We used to play with geometrical blocks, naming them, comparing them, now I'm introducing new elements. Children should built something using and describing their building material (it's a small thick blue triangle), but also naming it and giving reasons of why is it a good / bad present for theie mom, dad, friend...

4. When we have the writing activity, we normally write letters and small words. Now I'm asking them to compare the pictures on the page, we play "Odd one out" with 3 or 4 pictures.

5. New for us: we got seated around an imaginary magic fireplace in the wood. Who lives in the Wood? Why does it live there? Tell me, what kind is this fire? (Children say: hot, orange and red, dangerous...Why dangerous? Because you can burn yourself...)

I've just started. I'm open for new ideas. One boy told me that the tasks were too difficult for him (5 year old), but others had  chance to show their thinking skills and I was admired by their ideas.

# Alexander Sokol 2013-02-20 21:35
Dear Diana, welcome to the community. It's a pleasure to have your reflections here. Let me share a few thoughts about the things you've described.
1. Can you give us more details about this game? I am not sure I fully understand the way you're working with it. From the development of thinking point of view, we should try to encourage children to ask as few questions as possible to get to the number you're thinking about. In other words, they should be looking for possible ways of reducing the options avoiding mere guessing.
2. I think there can be two different kinds of focus in this game. One is mere vocab. When asking children to perform an action when they hear a word they know, it doesn't really require thinking, does it? Another option would be to name a feature / property and invite all the children who have an object with such a property to perform an action, eg 'my friends are those whose name starts with letter A' - then these people should perform an action, etc.
3. Can you please share more details here? I imagine that whether this task is more or less thinking would depend on what kinds of answers are accepted by you and why.
4. Can you share a few examples here? You can upload some pics under materials and comment on the reasons the kids give and how you respond.
5. It'd be interesting to have your comments on where you see the development of kids' thinking here and how it takes place.