Some kids love to draw and their talent shows at the age of 3 or 4! For other children drawing can be a struggle. As an adult, I try to draw and some of my efforts are almost acceptable. I find step by step drawing books helpful and fun.
Since the topic this week seems to be moose (it all started with an apron that said Moose on the Loose-let’s make a moose in the kitchen) I’ve discovered some super ideas for having fun and helping get kids ready for kindergarten at the same time.
Here’s a YouTube video that shows step by step instructions, has the text on one side, a drawing pad on the other and is drawn by a kidlet. Drawing is a kind of language and one of the multiple intelligences. No need for doodle-bugs to feel at all guilty. Any suggestions for naming this moose?
I love a parade-even in the rain. So do kids. A great activity for any day is to have a parade at home. Find some dress up clothes, some batons or instruments and march all around the yard or the house. Two disposable pie plates make cymbals by taping some spools to their centers. Plastic ice cream pails with lids can be used as drums. If there’s a handle on the pail, it can be attached to a belt so both hands will be able to play. To make shakers, just about any small plastic container will work with a few things inside to make noise…er, sound. Surprisingly, erasers make a fairly loud sound and are easy to pick up if the lid pops off the container.
There’s lots of learning in this activity. Rhythm and coordinating movement to a beat are physical skills that are developing in prekindergarten kidlets. Listening carefully is also reinforced. This promotes sharing and cooperating strategies and, probably, some negotiating ones, too. After all, not everyone can be first to lead the parade.
Music is optional. Usually, when just a few kids start to march around, others will be eager to join and the parade gets bigger and bigger. The fun gets bigger and bigger, too. Know any great songs that are simple enough for singing, marching and playing on homemade instruments? Just doing that left, right, left, right can be tricky enough!
“I one a playground. I two a playground. I three a playground. I four a playground. I five a playground. I six a playground. I seven a playground. I eight a playground.” Excuse-me, did you say you ate a playground?
Instead of eating one, how about drawing one? Drawing is the first way that your child expresses meaning through print. It’s a step before writing and helps reinforce that meaning-print bond. Asking your child to draw a picture of a playground also gives clues about the feelings. Is it a happy picture? Does the slide loom above the people, possibly indicating a fear? There may be differences between a drawing done by a female child as opposed to a male child. Boys tend to draw actions while girls draw things and people. Displaying a child’s drawing provides a boost to feelings of worth, too. Another way to play at the playground, even if it’s raining.
How did your playground taste?
Imagination is like any other skill. For some people it is easier than for others, but for all of us, it gets better with practice. A playground offers just as much opportunity for exercising the imagination as it does for exercising the body. The monkey bars can be a deep, dark jungle or an exciting … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Playground Fun #4→
So far playground time has helped kids learn some basic reading skills-making connections between text and experience-and promoted physical development. That’s something to sing and swing about. Here’s a simple song that uses the Mulberry Bush tune: This is the way we swing on the swing, swing on the swing, swing on the swing. This … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Playground Fun #3→
The news today announced the death of Hiram Brown, a radio drama legend. He called radio ” the theater of the mind” and talked about ” the magic is the imagination”. One of the most powerful tools that kids have is their imagination. Today, reflecting on his insights, here are some ways to use children’s … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Pack Imagination on Vacation→
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 … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Vacation Songs→
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 … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Batch of Mud→