Despite appearances, my daughter Katie is not a tool.
What you'll need:
1 shopping bag
12 or so kid-friendly tools (small plastic "play" tools, plastic measuring cups, wooden spoons)
12 or so kid-friendly objects (a small ball, "play" money, random toys from fast-food restaurants)
a bunch of kids, ages 3-6
What you'll do:
Have each kid take a turn pulling one object from the bag, without peeking. Have the kid show the others what it is, and everyone calls out whether or not they think it's a tool or not a tool. The kid decides whether or not they think it's a tool or not a tool. If it's a tool, ask the kid to explain what it helps us do. Have the others help come up with answers. If it's a tool, the kid places it in the laundry basket marked "tool". If it's not a tool, the kid places it in the laundry basket marked "not tool".
Katie let me borrow some of her toys. I also grabbed some kid-friendly kitchen tools.
Katie displays some objects you could use for the game,
"Is it a tool, or is it not a tool?"
This would also be a fun activity for library storytimes, or for parents and caregivers to do with kids at home after reading books about buildings and tools. Here are some of my favorite:
You Can't Build a House If You're a Hippo by Fred Ehrlich
Tap Tap Bang Bang by Emma Garcia
Who Uses This? by Margaret Miller
I tried out the "Is it a tool or is it not a tool" activity today (6-2-15) with the three to six year olds at VBS. It was a major hit. I noticed some of the kids who were holding back yesterday wanted to participate today. One boy in particular--I had him last year at VBS too, but I'd never seen him smile until today, and he wanted to do it "again! again!" I'm definitely going to try this game at some library storytimes. Remember, what might seem like a lame game to you might be loads of fun for younger kids.