Art Music Drama

Kindergarten Readiness – Vacation Songs

Singing is another terrific way to help kids learn. Not only do they practice musical skills but also important ones for learning vocabulary,  rhythm, word order and language patterns, but it also strengthens their auditory memory and provides good listening practice. There are some fabulous children’s entertainers with simple and catchy songs but plain, ordinary, everyday singing with parents and caregivers can be done anytime, anywhere and on any subject. One trick is to piggy-back new words onto old tunes. Following are two examples.

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.
Drive, drive, drive your car, gently down the street. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a treat.
Fly, fly, fly your plane gently in the sky. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life’s too fun to cry.

Tune: She’ll be coming ’round the mountain. Words by Daylene

We’ll be going on vacation in the car, honk, honk.
We’ll be going on vacation in a plane, zoom, zoom.
We’ll be going an vacation in a train, chug, chug.
We’ll be going on vacation in a boat, toot, toot.

It’s okay to use the word truck in these songs, although it is best to avoid that mode of transportation for some others. Phew. The ever-popular “Wheels on the bus” can be the wheels on the car with almost endless verses for another song. Any other possibilities for cartunes?

Kindergarten Readiness – Batch of Mud

Playdough is a super learning tool.  It is inexpensive and can be made right at home.  My favorite recipe is the cooked kind but I have successfully made the dough that uses boiling water. Mix up a batch.  Combine yellow and red coloring to make orange and add a drop or two of blue to make a brown. Then, play in the mud!! Here’s a list of learnings:

  • have your child roll out the letters of his/her name        -roll out circles, triangles, rectangles, squares
  •  make the shapes of the numbers 1-10  and roll out some little balls to show how many for each
  • practice cutting; it’s fantastically easy with playdough      -make people or animals and tell a story
  •  make some different shapes: flat, round, tall, short, long, curved, straight, etc
  • grown-ups can form the letters of the alphabet and let kids guess, or kids can make them, too

Building vocabulary, developing fine motor coordination, practicing letters, numbers and counting are just a few of the skills that can be reinforced with playdough. Best of all, it’s almost as much fun as playing in the mud.