Songs for waiting, stories for waiting, activities for waiting and today some games for waiting. The most recent blog posts have been all about helping children learn skills and strategies for coping with having to wait. Ring around the rosie is a traditional favorite that really young children can do. There is an element of waiting–falling down comes at the last line. Another simple game is Button, button, who’s got the button. Kids can’t tell until there has been at least one guess. Hide and go seek isanother game that requires kids to wait. Watching children of different ages play these games reveals their development. Children of 2 and 3 fall down aslmost as soon as Rosie starts, blurt out who has the button and give away their own hiding places. By 4 and 5 they are more able to participate in the waiting part of these games. Next week, we’ll look at another aspect of readiness so please do Not wait to send in your ideas and suggestions for helping our kids to learn this important concept. 1,2,3…ready or not…where are you?
Being able to wait is an important social skill for children–see earlier posts from this week. I enlist the help of a few stuffies to show kids some waiting strategies. A stuffie conversation may go something like this:
Well, hi there guys. Today, we’re going to take you for a walk in the stroller, as many of you as will fit, but first we have to put the dishes away. You need to curl up on the bed and just play quietly for a few minutes. Can you handle that? No wild jumping around. Here’s a few books to look at and we’ll be back soon.
After a minute or two check in with the stuffed toys and tell them you notice how they are looking at books and waiting patiently and let them know you are almost ready. After a couple more minutes, bundle them into the stroller, let your child push them and enjoy the walk. Now, normal children are not as quiet as stuffed toys but they have been shown what is expected and heard how it all works. The next step is to build in some activities so they can practice, too. Baking some cookies and waiting while they cool is one idea. For a special upcoming event let your child mark off the days on a calendar and sympatize how hard it is too wait. Planting seeds and waiting for them to sprout needs lots and lots of patience. The cookies, the special day and the little green sprouts all reinforce that good things come from waiting along with our words of encoragement and appreciation to our kids. What are your stategies for helping kids deal with waiting?
Music can help children–and adults–cope with many challenges. Waiting is something we all have to do and it helps if little ones have some skills and strategies for waiting. Mr. Rogers has a waiting song as well as Daddy Kooala, Boowa and Kwala but these only have a couple of verses. Sometimes, songs need to go on and on to fill up the wait time. Here’s a version that I use with a call to action, tune Mulberry Bush.
This is how we wait ( in line, wait in line, wait in line. )
This is how we wait in line, (we stand on one foot.)
This is how we wait (for the light, wait for the light, wait for the light.)
This is how we wait for the light, (we count to ten.)
The part after “how we wait” can be anything: wait to be served, wait for the doctor, wait for the dentist, wait for our lunch, whatever the situation. The action can be anything, too: we look for something blue, we look for a triangle, we row the boat, we touch our toes, etc. One option can even be “we sing a song” then sing an entirely different one and return to this is how we wait. The song can continue as long as needed, is adaptable and easy to remember. Let the kids suggest some of the actions to keep them involved. When the wait is done, there’s another reason to be glad-the song is over!!
For patiently waiting, this story’s character takes the prize. He waits on every page. As mentioned yesterday, being able to wait is a skill that gets easier with practice. It even has it’s own label: Strategic Allocation of Attention. Being able to wait is so helpful for little ones because they will have to do so … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Stories for Waiting
At the beginning of the month, I was fortunate enough to attend a presentation by the child expert and parenting author, Michele Borba. She reminded the parents, caregivers and teachers present that education is more than academics. We need to make sure that we provide experiences for social, emotional and physical development as well as intellectual. Michele … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Hurry Up and Wait
On my way to work yesterday, I caught part of a radio interview with astronauts Robert Thirsk and Frank de Winne. They were talking about their previous mission on the Space Shuttle Atlantis just before its scheduled lift off. The interviewer asked about 6 people living in a confined space for 6 months. Robert Thirsk advised … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Lessons from Atlantis
I played a baby game earlier this week that I remember playing with my grandfather. When I put my hand on top of his he would slide it out and put it on top of mine. Then I would slide mine out and put it on top of his again. At some point we used … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Whose Turn?
Once children have the idea of taking turns, it may be necessary to talk about letting others have the first turn, too. This book is also a story about a pig (see yesterday’s blog) that has a lesson to learn. The lesson ‘teacher’ is a sand witch. The author is Helen Lester and the title is … Continue reading Taking Turns – Me First!
The first part of May, this blog has been presenting some strategies for helping children develop some social and emotional skills so that kids can function as members of any group, be it preschool, on the playground or at daycare or school. The topic for today is taking turns. Kids hear lots of reminders to take turns and … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness- Taking Turns & Tell a Story
Taking turns requires several behaviors on the part of the child. First and foremost are self-regulation and impulse control. Being able to wait is another skill. The child often needs to listen and watch for clues that signal the end of the other person’s turn. The child who is having a turn may be the star … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – This is the Way We Take Turns