A final aspect of creating a stimulating environment is to ensure you have given thought to the tools that you could use to reinforce and encourage learning. You'll read more about other tools in later chapters; however, let's explore some options for preparing to have some fun in training. Remember the fun you had in a toy, craft, hobby, or variety store when you were a child? You could probably have spent hours just walking around and trying out all the interesting things they had. And every time you went back, there were likely new things to attract your attention. It's possible that, like me, you likely haven't changed much. If that is true and you have not been to a store that supplies toys, incentives, and other fun things in a while, take some time to do so. Many of your old favorites are probably still there, as well as hundreds of new things! Here's a partial listing of the types of stores you may want to visit:
Craft/art supply Bookstores
Discount department (e.g., K-Mart, Target, Wal-Mart)
Closeout stores (e.g., Big/Odd Lots, or others that specialize in purchasing end of year or stock from stores going out of business). Greeting card
Warehouse clubs (e.g., Sam's Club, BJ's, or COSTCO) Drugstore chains Science/discovery Teacher supply
As an alternative to visiting a store physically, you can scan through catalogs or visit Internet websites of companies specializing in children's toys or training aids for trainers and teachers (see Creative Training Resources and the Trainers Warehouse in the Resources for Trainers in the appendices).
As you wander up and down the aisles, put some of those creative ideas discussed in Chapter 2 to use. Examine things closely to determine how they could possibly tie into a program or workplace theme.
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