Last week, I had the opportunity to hear Michele Borba at a Parents’ Night Out. Her powerful presentation on Moral Intelligence reminded me that social and emotional skills are an important part of readiness, too. One of the skills that helps children at school is the ability to share. At school there is 1 teacher and two dozen kids. Children really do need to know how to share that lone adult’s attention and time with others. There are limited toys, or at least, a limited number of children that can play with specific toys at a time. Again, sharing and negotiating strategies will help a child. Increased demands are placed on a child at school and coping with all the expectations requires social and emotional support. This week, I’ll discuss some activities that can help promote the sharing aspect of social and emotional development. As Michele Borba says,”Sharing is one of the first social skills that kids learn, so it’s also one of the most important.”
Over 150 years ago, on May 1, Friedrich Froebel coined the term ‘Kindergarten’. As a teacher his dream was to provide an education for children that developed not only their minds and bodies, but also their spirits by tapping into children’s playful and creative natures. The German word Kinder-garten, child’s garden, describes children growing and blooming like flowers as they play and learn. Kindergarten itself is the ‘seed’ year that grows the roots for a child’s educational career that spans at least one and possibly two (!) decades of school. Children starting this fall graduate from high school in 2023. Kindergarten grows into the future. Thank you, Mr. Froebel and Happy May 1. How will you play and learn today?
While finding and remembering a variety of alphabet activities for the daily blog entries I also searched some information and was astounded by the results.
The alphabet is not just for kids. A dance troupe has recreated all the letters of the alphabet in ballet like poses and compiled the photos into a book called Pilobolus, The Human Alphabet. I found an entire blog of different alphabet fonts from bread, pasta, nails and screws to toothpaste.
There are websites devoted to trivia about the alphabet, how many letters are symmetrical, which look the same upside down, etc. The Ultimate Alphabet is a book of 26 works of incredibly detailed art that has a fan base.
Stock traders discuss the Greeks, Greek alphabet letters that signify volatility, change, and functions of time. We all know that fraternities and sororities also use Greek letters as do scientists when they measure brain waves. The ancient Roman and Egyptian alphabets have intrigued us for centuries.The most AmaZing finding is that our very cells have a genetic alphabet. How cool is that! No wonder the alphabet fascinates us, it’s in our very genes.
One of my favorite gifts from a student is a letter name bracelet. Although stringing beads is definitely a craft for older kids who have outgrown the tendency to put everything in the mouth, it should be done with careful adult supervision just in case. Pick up some beads at a craft store and start stringing. Children … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – String up the ABC’s→
Stickers are another great fun project for practicing the alphabet and inexpensive, too. To add an extra layer or two of learning, point to the letters and say their names. Or have your child say the names. Randomly pick a letter for your little one to find. Notice which letters look very different, and which the same. … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Learning That Sticks→
With scrapbooking being popular it is now much easier to find a whole set of alphabet stamps. There’s even a choice in fonts and styles and a missing letter doesn’t involve turning the room upside down and inside out to locate it. Phew. And best of all, ink pads have washable ink! Stamping out a page of … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Stamp It Up ABC→
No, not flash cards, although they can be useful, too. These are cards for card games that kids and parents or other family members can play together. Playing cards also provides an opportunity to learn social skills such as asking politely, saying no acceptably, taking turns, sharing an activity, following rules and more. Sometimes children … Continue reading It’s in the Cards→
Children do not all have the same learning style, nor the same interests. Some children are keen to figure out the alphabet, copy and print letters and learn to write their name. Others are not at all interested to the point where they declare paper and pencil activities their “arch enemies” (direct quote). But all … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Alphabet Eats→
Small muscle coordination is very much at the development stage for young children. Some inexpen- sive chalk and one sidewalk have lots of room for using b-i-g muscles to write out the alphabet. On hot days, an old, large paint brush and a pail of water work for painting the alphabet and for cooling off. I wonder if … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Chalk it Up→
I am almost reluctant to remind families about using magnetic letters as a tool to help children learn the alphabet. Even though it has been years and years, I remember one pre-supper ‘arsenic hour’, when I gave my daughter a few letters to amuse her while I worked in the kitchen. Somehow, one of the letters got caught … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Fridges and Alphabets→