Show and tell is a great classroom activity, and a fun way to introduce children to public speaking . While the classic show and tell items kids bring year after year are nice, how about putting a fresh spin on the schoolroom tradition? Here are three new ideas to get you started:
Idea #1: Costumes Make Events Come Alive
Kids love to dress up, and what better way to tell about the family trip to a historic site or an interesting relative than historical costumes? Clothing not normally seen every day instantly draws curious attention, and costumes make history come alive. Family history is a great place to start; who wouldn’t love to show off in a Scottish kilt just like great-great-great-grandpa wore?
● For more classroom fun, your child can act like their favorite historical figure; fielding questions like they imagine Pocahontas would—and being confused when asked about modern things—encourages lots of fun interaction.
● Your child’s costume doesn’t have to go too far back into history. If a favorite relative was your child’s age in the fifties, they can don the same “historic” look Aunt Sally would have worn to school.
Idea #2: The Mystery Show and Tell
Sometimes a little mystery is exactly what’s needed to pique a child’s interest. Mix things up a little bit by having your child bring a special item hidden in a paper bag. Classmates will have fun guessing what’s inside based on clues your child gives about the item. Whoever guesses correctly can help show the item while your child tells why it’s special to them.
● To make things more interactive, bring an object in a bag or box that classmates can take turns reaching into and feeling as your child shares facts about what’s inside.
● Use smell to make the show more interesting. Items like a slice of Grandma’s famous bread your child helped make, a seashell and sand fresh from a beach trip, or spices brought from a faraway land make for a unique way to learn about something that may not even be new. Place the item in a bag and have your child instruct their classmates to close their eyes and take a sniff!
Idea #3: Bring Faraway Lands Closer
Foreign countries and exotic cultures are filled with scenes and ways of life children find fascinating. Why not take a little bit of a distant country and make it come to life with show and tell? If your family recently returned from Europe or Canada, or you have friends or relatives from Australia or Mexico, your child can share their culture connection with objects, foods, and pictures.
● If you have a relative from a foreign country, ask if they will write a letter to your child’s classroom talking about what school is like in their country.
● Your child can share phrases and words from foreign countries and have fun using them for the rest of the day. An English schoolboy would have chips for lunch, and a German girl would ask “Wie ghet’s?”
Show and tell looming? Get together with your child and start brainstorming! How will you add fun to show and tell?