How to Set Up, Facilitate, and Use the Center Activity Table

How to Set Up, Facilitate, and Use the Center Activity Table

1. Offer and rotate a variety of open-ended and structured toys daily.

2. Talk about the objects: names, patterns, colors, shapes, numbers, and sizes. “This is a horse.” “This is a circle.” “Five red cars are in a straight line.”

3. Show different options: stacking or aligning shapes in different ways. Stack the largest blocks to the smallest in a tower. The triangle can’t stand on its tip. Group the same types of animals together.

4. Set up each figurine in its right place. The pilot in the cockpit. The school bus driver in the bus. The farmer in the tractor.

5. Suggest what an object is used for, and show how it moves, and what it does. A horse gallops and neighs. A triangle could be a roof.

6. Play with them, be a character, or assist with an activity.

7. Help when a child is having trouble after trying many times; show them how to do it.

8. Comment on a pattern or compliment the successful completion of a task. Say, “You finished and didn’t give up!” after successfully putting together a puzzle independently. “You worked very hard on that tower.”

9. Be curious about their discoveries; ask what they figured out, learned, and remember. Ask, “What shape is that?” “How did you know how to make that structure?” “Why did you put the rectangle on the bottom?”

10. Suggest props or other toys that could be used during play. Place a figurine to drive the car. Cover the baby with a blanket.

The paperback version of Create a Home of Learning is available at Amazon, your favorite bookseller or

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