Kindergarten Readiness – April Showers and Mud Puddles

After April Showers, the rain leaves great puddles. Yes, puddles can be another learning opportunity–but stay out of the road so you don’t become part of one! Next time it rains, go for a walk and check out all the different shapes. Are puddles round or square? Maybe, their shapes look like something else: a bunny shaped puddle, or a tree or car or dragon. What colors do you see in the puddles? Are there any reflections? Some days, it’s hard to enjoy the rain, but puddles can make a grey day bright with interest.

Kindergarten Readiness – Early Writing

With the family coming home for Easter, I dug out some of the decorations that the kids, almost in theirthirties, expect to see. I remembered some of the things that I used to do, too. Growing up on a farm, there was lots of family members that gathered and where to sit everybody was a puzzle. We’d solve the problem with place cards. Writing names is one of the first real writing activities of children. Kids’ early attempts at writing are often just lists of names. Place cards is a tremendous way for children to participate in such a grownup activity. If kidlets are too young for printing on their own, they can trace the letters with crayons for color or add pictures to the place cards. What a boost to their self-esteem to see their work in such an important place on the table for everyone. What’s in a name? Early writing, validation, contribution, importance and, years later, family memories, too. Happy Easter!

Kindergarten Readiness – What Rhymes With Bunny?

Using the theme of Easter, kids have been able to practice some basic math, explore movement and enhance big muscle development, and enjoy an art activity and tradition this week in just minutes a day. Here’s another quick and easy idea but one of critical importance for learning to read. Those of you who read regularly can guess, already. Rhyming. Why is it so very important? Rhyming is an activity that is based on the skills of dividing words into their sound parts and then recombining them to make new words, something we do when we’re reading. A divide and conquer strategy. Easter has lots of great words for word families: bunny rhymes with funny, money, honey, and  sunny. What else? Hop sounds like drop, stop, shop, top, mop, pop, bop …. Try chick, blue, red, green, pink, white,  black, etc. Notice that it’s hard to think of ones for purple, orange and egg. One is a fun number to rhyme. Chocolate is a hard word to rhyme, so maybe we’ll just eat it instead. Oops, I’ll have to sign off, my mouth is full of chocolate. MMmmm.