This a quick early learning activity.
- strips of paper (cardstock will be more durable)
- variety of stickers
1. Cut cardstock into strips
2. On each strip put several stickers with one sticker that is different. The younger the child, the more pronounced the difference should be.
3. Have fun trying to find the oddball with your child.
My little guy liked using his "drum stick" as a pointer during this activity. You could also draw/write on the strips with markers or other shapes cut out of construction paper. You can laminate these or cover them with clear contact paper to preserve them. Younger kids will look for the oddball and older kids can try and explain to you how the oddball is different from the other stickers.
This is a great activity to work on visual discrimination, in addition to language skills. Visual discrimination is a skill that you need in order to identify shapes/colors in pictures. You also need it so that you don't confuse symbols/shapes in math, and letters/words/objects that look similar. As you practice this activity, you can introduce the words "same" and "different" and talk about the similar/different characteristics in each strip. For example, "there are four pink stars and one white star, can you find the white star?" The first few times you might need to demonstrate how to find the "oddball" with your child. When you have your child point to the oddball, try to prompt him to describe the oddball a little bit (blue and white star, light blue smiley face, orange circle, etc.). With older kids you could also use words and have the child discriminate between the words and explain the different letters/shapes they see in the different words.
Idea from The Toddler's Busy Book
If you want some more activity ideas for building visual perception skills, check out a few ideas here.