Kindergarten Readiness – Pirates for Learning

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, too. Little toddlers love the simple text and textures on each page. Older kids enjoy the vocabulary and predictability. A fun activity is to make a texture page. Find small bits of different textures such as a smooth ribbon, a bit of sandpaper, fuzzy fabric, a bit of bumpy cardboard, a small sponge, a soft feather,  etc. If appropriate, glue some of these bits on to a big paper or just put them in a little box for feeling. Have your child close his/her eyes and feel one of the textures. Without peeking, which one is it? Not only does this activity work on vocabulary and other language skills, it also helps develop the sense of touch. A small box of safe things to feel can also be used when travelling or waiting to keep a little one occupied for a few minutes. Now, that’s a treasure for parents and caregivers. What do your pirates enjoy?

Kindergarten Readiness – Mooose #10

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.

moose fun for kidsOne area we haven’t covered is social and emotional development. Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose can help. In this Dr. Seuss book, Thidwick helps kids learn to respect each other and each other’s things. This is another important skill and not just for kindergarten, but for developing healthy relationships.

Since this is the last moose post, here’s another book. A Chocolate Moose for Dinner, by Fred Gwynne. It’s not a moose for dinner, but a mousse, chocolate of course, and other confusing expressions done in rhyme (great for phonological awareness). A chocolate mousse is just what we need to celebrate all the learning. Do you have an easy recipe for chocolate mousse?

Kindergarten Readiness – Moose #9

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.

moose activitiesGiven the likelihood that your child has not yet seen a live moose, use an animal that is familiar, such as a cat or dog. Ask your child if this creature is a plant or an animal. Then, ask your child what is the difference between a plant and an animal.

While the answers may seen evident to us, this is part of the learning and discovery of young children. A 3 year old child may only be able to give 1 or 2 differences. A 4 or 5 year old may be ready for something far more advanced, such as do all plants need dirt? Engage the imagination by thinking how the world would be if trees had legs instead of roots. Why do animals need to be able to move around instead of growing in place like plants?

Whether or not your child knows the correct answers is not as important as the wondering, the questioning, the being aware. Watching an ant cross the sidewalk is science. Looking way up to the see the top of a big tree is science. Many of the answers for dealing with this terrible oil spill will come from science. Our kids need to begin to develop their science skills now, too, to help prepare them for their future challenges. Will you be seeing any moose on your summer vacation? What other science can we learn from moose?

Kindergarten Readiness – Moose #7

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

Kindergarten Readiness – Moose #6

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

Kindergarten Readiness – Moose #5

This moose topic really is on the loose! The activities  just keep horning their way in–oops, I mean antlering their way in. But it shows how parents and caregivers can take an idea that captures kids and expand it to include all kinds of readiness projects. For today, some moose math. Draft some small blocks or … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Moose #5

Kindergarten Readiness – Moose #2

As long as we are making mooses in the kitchen, here is another cooking with kids activity–face sandwiches. Start with a slice of bread. Next, cover the slice with a slice of cheese or meat or another filling such as tuna salad. Next comes the fun part, the face. Cucumber, carrot, radish or tomato slices make … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Moose #2