One of the things I like to do to help me understand toki pona better is to pick a grammar/sentence structure from pu (e.g. NOUN + li + VERB + e + NOUN, or NOUN + ADJECTIVE), choose some words (relatively) randomly (e.g. NOUNS: esun, kili, akesi, sina; VERBS: toki, moku) and see what sentences I can make that (using the definitions as per pu).
Or another thing is to choose two words, and write them out using the different forms, e.g.
jan n. person, human, somebody
wan nu. one; adj. unique, united
jan wan (N + N) — one person
wan jan (N + N) — person one
jan wan (N + A) — unique person / united people
jan li wan (N + li + N) — somebody (has) one / somebody is one
jan li wan (N + li + A) — The person is unique / People are united / People are unique
(I did this some time ago, just found it.)
This is how I have understood things.
Has anyone done this, or something similar? Do people have other such exercises they use to help expand their understanding and usage of toki pona?