Sweet Pea was 4 years old.
From: One of our friends gave us a set of Brain Quest Cards and Sweet Pea went crazy over the ones that involved story sequencing. Sequencing is a great early literacy activity so I found these heavy cardboard sequencing cards on Amazon for her. I also bought a workbook of cut and paste sequencing, that contains 3, 4 and 5 picture scenes.
- Sequencing Cards.
- Box or basket to contain the cards.
- Group each set of cards by scene and write a letter on the back that uniquely identifies each set. (For example, write an “A” on the back of each of the 3 cards that is about a girl planting a flower, a “B” on the back of each one that is about a boy pouring a glass of milk, etc..)
- Stack your cards and place them in a basket or box. Make sure all of the scenes are out-of-order, but kept together so your tot can easily identify which 3 cards are in a scene.
- Sit near your tot in a location with a lot of space.
- Show your tot how to select all 3 cards that belong to a scene, checking the back of each card to make sure that they have the same letter.
- Look through the 3 (out-of-order) cards and talk out loud about each of them. (i.e. “The girl is looking at a tall flower. The girl is planting a seed. The girl is watering the ground.”)
- Select the card that goes first and place it on the ground. Let your tot hear your thinking process about which card comes first. (“I wonder which card comes first… I guess there can’t be a flower before she plants the seed, so she must plant the seed first.”)
- Repeat for the remaining 2 cards in the scene.
- Let your child help you with the next set of cards.
- When she understands the game, let her try on her own.
Observations: Sweet Pea was very interested in the sequencing cards and completed every scene in the box in one sitting.
I don’t know why Sweet Pea likes sequencing so much, but she had a really good time with it. She only made a few “mistakes”, and I tried not to correct her when I noticed a card that looked wrong, but instead asked her to tell me about the story. Interestingly, her explanation usually made some sense and it was fun to hear her thoughts about the sequence.
The cardboard card set seemed to be exactly the right level of challenge for Sweet Pea. The huge downside for me was that after Sweet Pea sequenced all of the cards, she was not interested in doing them again. The cardboard card set was about $10, and I think that is too expensive for a 1-time activity. I will probably put them away them for a while and bring them out again in several months. Hopefully she will want to do them again then.
If I had a school, a co-op or even a large family, these might be a good investment, but not really for only 1 child. So I have reservations about recommending this set for an individual, but I do think it would be very good for a larger group of preschoolers.
The workbook was only $5, but it is even less reusable than the cardboard one, because it is made of regular paper and each page is designed to be cut apart and then glued back into the correct order. I also thought that some of the sequences were too difficult for Sweet Pea to figure out. However, she loved coloring, cutting and pasting these sequences so I did feel as though I got my moneys worth. An industrious teacher might be able to color, cut and laminate these to make them reusable.
Notes from the Trenches: Regarding the cardboard card set, the first thing I noticed was that Sweet Pea was entirely overwhelmed by the volume of cards in the box. There were far too many cards for Sweet Pea to figure out which cards belonged in each set, so I had to label the backs to make it easier for find corresponding cards for each scene.
Rating: 3 Stars *(Fun, Easy, Independent)