When you get it right, then strewing can be magical!
Once, I got hold of an old book All about Arrowheads and Spear Points and left it for them to find. It struck a chord with them at that time - and they got excited about finding their own arrowheads. We ended up reading Stig of the Dump, and taking a field trip to a local prehistoric flint mine (where the staff kindly looked at the pieces of flint my children had been collecting - and confirmed that yes, they had found some arrowheads!).
Another time I made pictures of my children next to famous landmarks. This turned into a wonderful geography activity, where they looked up the landmarks they were 'pretend visiting'.
The key is that I didn't leave these things out in the hope that they would become an 'educational experience'. I left them out because I thought my children would enjoy them. The learning comes from the capturing of their imaginations.
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