One of the best ways to prepare for the Gifted and Talented exam is through play. Why? Because it’s fun! Kids love it, and it’s low stress for everybody. So, while we do recommend that you do at least some of your preparation through practice questions (especially as you near the test date), you can effectively build test-taking skills through playing with the objects described below.
You can make GT prep into an interactive game by using the following resources. We provided Amazon links for some products we recommend, but it’s entirely possible to use flash cards and blocks you already have, or from other brands.
It’s easy to make multiple choice questions by using flash cards. Simply have your child draw 4 cards from the deck, and arrange them on the table or floor. Then, make up a question that describes one of the cards your child drew.
For example, if your child drew pictures of a cow, a table, a clock, and a jacket, you might say the following questions.
“Which one of these is the animal that makes milk for us to drink?”
“Which one of these is a piece of furniture?”
“Which one of these is an item that will help me know what time it is?”
“Sally wants to go play outside, but it’s cold and windy. Which item does Sally’s mother ask her to wear?”
We recommended this set of flash cards from Amazon because they have very clear pictures. While the test doesn’t directly test on written word identification, it’s an added bonus that your child will learn to associate the words with the pictures.
You can use Number Picture cards like the ones linked here to practice addition and subtraction in the Gifted and Talented test style. Have your child draw a card (only use the numbers 1-12, please), and work with them to count the objects on the card.
Let’s say they drew a card with 4 turtles. You can say:
“Bobby saw 4 turtles at the zoo, as seen here. He looked harder, and saw 2 more turtles! How many turtles does he see in all?”
To practice addition, you can help your child count out two objects, such as bingo chips, and place them on the card next to the turtles. Then, you can help your child count them all together, “pretending the bingo chips are the extra turtles.”
For subtraction, make up a question that involves objects hiding, getting lost, or going away somehow. Then, direct your child to cover up that many objects with their fingers, and count the remaining ones.
Bingo chips are a fun way to practice adding objects to the number cards. You can also use other small, simple objects.
Many of the questions on the Verbal Reasoning Section ask children to visualize blocks moving and switching places. The blocks in the questions are often multi-faced, and have numbers, letters, and symbols on them.
We recommend the blocks listed here, as they have numbers, letters, and pictures on the different faces. You can practice arranging the blocks with your child, asking them to “put the A on top of the number 2” and “Make the 5 and the horse switch places.”
For many children, it’s difficult to focus on paper questions. Using stickers to reward good focus and correct answers is a great way to foster a positive attitude towards test prep. You can use any stickers you want, we usually use these ones (kids like the sparkles.)