With the start of the finals for the Stanley Cup, hockey is a topic of discussion in many places–but preschool, too? Apparently! I will admit I hadn’t thought of hockey as learning tool for little ones but this parent said that her son learned numbers from hockey jerseys!
Well, kids learn in lots of different ways. In this case, the child was very motivated from something in his experience and built his learning on that. To help your little one with kindergarten readiness use whatever is important in the child’s world. Readiness for kindergarten does not come from workbooks and flashcards but from ordinary, everyday living. Score another one for kindergarten readiness!
Because the Royal Wedding is happening on a school night, I won’t be able to stay up and watch. But I have been thinking about how this much-publicized event could relate to readiness for kindergarten. Perhaps, it’s the way that so many people come together to celebrate; that’s learning about social behaviors. Maybe it’s all the traditions that make us part of a larger group. One possible activity could be dressing up or reading stories about princes and princesses. Then I thought of something really fun that has all kinds of kindergarten readiness learning: a tea party.
Children as young as 2, perhaps even earlier, love to imagine and play pretend. A tea party has lots of scope for imagining, even if the food served is quite real. Teddy bears can be guests or grown-ups or friends might be invited. Older children can color and draw invitations. Planning a menu means practicing organizing and other skills. There’s all kinds of language play and social interaction. Kids practice math as they count out, add and subtract the plates and cups, and solve other problems of how many. Kids explore different behaviors and other roles. Best of all, a tea party is royally fun. How do you take your tea?
In my last blog post, I talked about how events in Japan remind us that we share the world. Over the weekend, several times I thought to myself that it really is a small world. The owner of our favorite restaurant has 2 sons. The younger one left Friday morning for a 2 week student exchange to Japan. The area where my parents live in Canada had been an evacuation center for Japanese families during the war and many of them stayed and settled there. Some of their neighbors have friends and relatives in Japan. There were other examples of connections, too. As I tried to put my thoughts in order for the blog, I realized that connections is another key, just like preparation and science.
Learning is all about making connections. For little ones, we can sometimes practically see their brains figuring things out. “If I stretch I can reach that kitty’s tail, ” or “My truck stops in the sand but not in the grass.” Even as adults, we learn new material when the dots all connect. To promote kindergarten readiness today help your child make connections. For example, when reading a book you may find something that happens in the story that’s like something happening in your home or care center. Needing a coat or hat is connected to the weather. The hand bone’s connected to the arm bone. The toaster doesn’t work unless the plug is connected to the electricity. Making connections is a key strategy for learning and for life. What connections will you and your little one make today?
Yesterday morning’s news about the disaster in Japan reminds us all that we share the world. Our neighbors can be across the ocean as well as across the street. The situation is very grim for Japan and our thoughts and help go out to everyone there. All of us have a response to these situations, … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami