Holiday Activities

Kindergarten Readiness – Halloween Ghost Fun

If your ghost from yesterday and the day before is still intact, here is another Halloween fun and kindergarten readiness activity. This time, your ghost needs a friend, either another kleenex ghost or one made from a bit of white fabric and elastic band–or even a small, white sock.

Pour some water into a clear plastic bowl. Tuck one ghost into a clear plastic cup. Have your child put a finger into the water to make sure it is wet. Put the cup with the ghost  in right in the water and watch the water flow into the cup. Take it out, pour out the water and check that the ghost is wet, too. Is it wet? Sure is. Now, this time, tuck a tissue, fabric or sock into the cup so that it will stay in when the cup is turned upside down. Turn the cup over and make sure that is stays in place. Very, very carefully and slowly put the cup, upside down, into the water. (Hopefully, the ghost  stays in the cup.) Just as carefully, lift up the cup out of the water, turn it over and check again. Is the ghost wet this time?  Why is it still dry? Something happened. Maybe, there was something invisible in the cup. A real ghost?  It’s called air.

The air was trapped in the cup when it was upside down and no water could flow in. Take out the ghost and put just the cup upside down into the water, again.  Tip the cup just a little and notice the big bubble of air. Tip it some more so the air escapes and water goes in.
We can’t see ghosts, we can’t see air. Hmmm? Spooky! Do you know anymore Halloween science?

Kindergarten Readiness – Halloween Craft

Ahh…ahh…ahh…boo!  Instead of  using a tissue for a sneeze, use it for a craft. Roll one tissue (or a bit of waste paper) into a tight ball about the size of a grape, drape a second tissue over the first and pinch it to make a neck. Wrap a twist tie around the neck and spread out the ends to be arms. Dot on a scary face and as quick as that, there is a ghost.

This simple craft can be used for all kinds of learning. We can start with language. What are some words that tell about ghosts? white, invisible, spooky, scary. How does a ghost move? flies, flits, sneaks, floats. What are some other words: appears, disappears, moans, groans, spooky. What do ghosts do? scare, frighten, haunt.

Those are lots of words. Young children won’t use them but will understand them on a general level. Think of words as treats you are putting into your child’s language treat bag. The fuller, the better and not just for kindergarten readiness.  What’s a ghost favorite treat? Booberries and I-scream.

Kindergarten Readiness – Halloween Math

To understand numbers and develop number sense your child needs lots and lots of experience counting, making groups, and talking about numbers. Kids learn best through play, so here’s some ways to play with numbers and boost kindergarten readiness at the same time. Choose a couple of these ideas that match your child’s level.

1. Use a paper bag or other container. Pretend blocks or lego or even bread tags are Halloween treats. Ask your child to put 3 ‘treats’ in the bag. Dump them out and suggest  maybe 5 treats. Try a few more numbers.

2. You can put some ‘treats’ in, then let your child dump them out and count how many treats there are. Help your child point to each one and only count each ‘treat’ once. This can be quite tricky for kids, especially when items are close together.

3. For kidlets that have the concept that each item only gets counted once and are accurate when counting up to 10, this activity is more challenging. Count 5 ‘treats’. Give 3 to your child and 2 to you. How many treats? 5 treats. Now, give 3 to you and 2 to your child. How many now? Count them again and it’s still 5. Now, give 4 of those treats to your child and 1 to you. Did it change? Are there still only 5 treats? Pretty wild! No matter how many different ways those treats are shared, it always makes 5! This is called conservation of number. Each number is always that many, no matter how it’s lined up, piled up, shared out, spread out, or squished together, it’s just so much.

On second thought, maybe it’s not so good for kids to be able to accurately count out their Halloween treats. How can we sneak out the good ones? (I like the coconut chews. What’s your favorite?)

Kindergarten Readiness – Halloween Patterns

This week, while buying both groceries and gas, I saw some spooktacular Halloween ideas. Most of them had some kind of pattern. A spider’s web is a very intricate pattern. A window border with ghost, witch, pumpkin, ghost, witch, pumpkin is another kind of pattern–in a sequence. Making patterns is a skill needed for more … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Halloween Patterns

Kindergarten Readiness – Halloween Colors

What color is a pumpkin? A ghost? A bat? Learning the names of basic colors is another kindergarten readiness skill. Many school activities will use colors.  Learn-to-read books often use color words, math problems can be made with colors; 2 red legos and 3 blue legos make how many legos? Pattern sequences may use them, too; yellow, red, yellow, … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Halloween Colors

Kindergarten Readiness – 2 Holidays, 1 Lesson

Both Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving–earlier in Canada because there’s snow, not harvest, in November–have echoes of voyages. Voyages of discovery, adventure and celebration. Kindergarten is another voyage of discovery for our children. Today, wherever we are, as adults let’s make an effort to protect their sense of adventure and celebration. Happy Day! P.S. How did … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – 2 Holidays, 1 Lesson

Kindergarten Readiness – Halloween Countdown

Now that our calendars have turned to October, kids from all over the continent are anticipating Halloween. From October 1st to October 31st seems like such an awfully  long time. Speaking of time, time is a really a difficult concept to grasp–and not just for kids, some adults are time-challenged, too. Lots of meaningful experiences … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Halloween Countdown

Kindergarten Readiness – 4th in a Glass

Start the 4th off with a quick breakfast treat. Easy for kids to make and eat!! Ingredients: vanilla or plain yogurt, blueberries, strawberries or raspberries Method: in a clear, plastic glass layer the colors, yogurt then fruit. Skills: patterning, counting (so everyone gets the same number of berries :)), organizing, creating,  nutrition, hand-eye coordination, serving … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – 4th in a Glass