Pirates start with the letter P. The letter P makes a ‘puh’ sound. What else starts with this sound? Pants, pig, purple. Some children may be able to name things on their own that start with the same sound; other children may need an adult to supply a word and ask if they start the same. For example, do pink and pirate start the same? How about pirate and green? What do you wear that starts with the ‘puh’ sound? Pants. There’s a color that starts ‘puh’. Pink or purple. Do we eat anything that starts ‘puh’? Pickles, pineapple, peach, pear, or, perhaps, popcorn? That sounds like a real treasure. And while waiting for the popcorn to pop, pirates can walk the plank!!
P.S. Dividing words into their sound parts is an important skill called phonological awareness. As a rough guide about 80% of 5 year olds have some basic skills such as rhyming and initial sounds. For younger children, reading books and playing word games helps them develop this skill. Word games are ideal to piggy-back onto other activities. Can you play some?
Why couldn’t the pirate play cards? Because he was standing on the deck!
Playing cards is another way to practice math. If 2 people are playing, divide the deck in 2 halves. Each player takes half, all cards in a pile face down. Pirates, of course, like lots of treasure. Each player turns over the top card and the one with the higher number takes both cards. If both cards are the same, players need to turn over another card each. More than 2 people can play. If more than 4 are playing, use 2 decks of cards. In this game it doesn’t matter if some of the cards have different backs. The pirates do not mind.
Young toddlers may not be able to name the numbers, only see that some cards have more items. A little bit older ones may need to count to recognize the written numeral. Some may be able to read the numerals. Pirates who have strong math skills may be able to just look at the cards and know how many. This ability to know how many items there are without counting and without looking at the numeral is called subitizing. It’s easy to do for 1, 2, 3 and 4 objects in a group, but gets harder after that. Card games are a fun way to practice math skills, and social skills. Learning how to both win and lose is another skill that take practice. (Pirates really need to practice the not winning part. )
What other card games do pirates play?
Pirates should be pretty good at math, one would guess. After all, think of all the counting they have to do: counting their loot, measuring how many steps before burying their treasure, knowing four (fore) and halft, working on the quarter deck, etc. Today, put on your pirate hats and count. How many steps is it to the kitchen? How many kids are needed to swab the decks? How many stuffies are on the captain’s bed? Treasures have to get picked up off the floor before they get tucked away in the toy box trunk. For mates that are ready for more than counting, do some mores. Are there more socks to get put away or are there more pants? Are there more plates or more cups to wash?
Once the chores are done, have more math fun counting out piles of treasures, using blocks, or lego, or toy cars, etc. Smart pirates! What will your pirates count?
Today’s pirates are going to use a treasure that’s buried deep inside–their voices! The tune is Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes. The last line of each verse can be adapted for lots of different pirate actions. Let the kids think of some, too. Pirates sail on the deep blue sea, deep blue sea, deep blue … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Pirates #2
Each summer, our community hosts an international race of bathtubs! These were started by a former mayor who used to dress up as a pirate, Black Frank. Pirates are such fun for kids andthey can be used to promote all kinds of learning. The Usborne book That’s not my pirate is fun for wee little ones and older pirates, … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Pirates for Learning
Is there a mouse in the house? No, but there’s a moose on the loose. This moose has been on the loose long enough, for now at least. The moose has helped us with math, reading, drawing, cooking, science, movement and more–see previous blogs. One area we haven’t covered is social and emotional development. Thidwick, … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Mooose #10
Books, drawing, math, reading, cooking, and other skills have all been part of the moose on the loose series. Another simple activity that you can do in minutes at home is basic science. Given the likelihood that your child has not yet seen a live moose, use an animal that is familiar, such as a … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Moose #9
No, that’s not a typo. It’s a play with words, because this blog is about mooving. Kids love to explore movement and need to find out all the different ways that they can coordinate their bodies. How would a moose move? Put thumbs on each side of the head, spread the fingers to be antlers … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Moove #8
What rhymes with moose? Yesterday’s blog talked about phonological awareness, the ability to divide words into sound bits and then put them together differently. This is a critical and fundamental skill for learning to read. Finding words that start with the same sound is one way of practicing, finding words that end the same is … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Moose #7
Moose starts with the letter m. Moose starts with the sound mmm. What other words start with the mmm sound? For example, mitten, mother, milk, etc. This simple activity is fundamentally important. The skill of figuring out and using sound bits is called phonological awareness. Children’s ability in this area is so critical that it is … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Moose #6