Best for toddlers
Sock It to Me
In this game, toddlers get an idea of how a detective might use his senses of touch and sight when important evidence is under wraps.
Using a marker, draw a smiley face on an old sock near the toe, just for fun. Collect small objects with simple, distinctive shapes -- a ball, a block, a spoon -- and slip one into the sock. Knot or tie the open end and let your little sleuth poke and prod the sock to figure out what's inside. Then try a different item.
For very young private eyes, place familiar objects in the sock as he looks on, then talk him through the investigation: "Do you feel a spoon? Or a cup? A spoon is long and straight; a cup is round."
Mary Beth Spann is the author of 30 Collaborative Books forYour Class to Make and Share (Scholastic Professional Books).