While blogging about helping children learn some strategies to cope with waiting I remembered a Eugene Field poem that my grandmother used to recite to me about a toy dog and soldier that waited and waited for a little boy. Because the poem had a sad ending it was never my favorite. But I love remembering the sound of her voice and the memories of curling up with my grandmother and listening to poems and stories. I can both see and hear these times in my mind. For this week, I’d like to explore memory skills. The question-of-the-week will be: how can we help children develop visual and auditory memory skills?
Here is one activity to start. Find 10 different little objects and put them on a tray. Some possible items are a spoon, a spool, a bread tag, a button, a fridge magnet, a small plastic toy, etc. Point to them together and say their names. Cover them with a towel and ask your child to remember the items on the tray. How many of these things could your child remember? Now, you have a turn. Who remembered more, you or your little one? In this case, you had the advantage as this is Round 2. Do it again with some different objects. Try it with some other family members or friends. These activities count double, both visual memories and memories of fun together. 1, 2, 3…remembering.
Did you happen to see the headlines this earlier this week: First Ladies Play With Kids. The Mexican President’s wife Margarita Zavala accompanied First Lady Michelle Obama to an elementary school where they hopped, skipped and played with the kids. The key word is Play. Play is children’s work; that’s how they learn. When we help children learn something new our most effective teaching tool is play. As parents, coaches, caregivers, grandparents, whatever role we have in the lives of kids, we need to learn to structure the activity around play. This weekend enjoy some time just playing. It’s how children learn and how we renew. No need to wait.
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 … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Waiting Activities
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 … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Songs to Wait By
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!