July 1 is the official kick-off for summer. Many communities north of the border start it off with a parade. Kids of all ages love a parade. Being part of a community is important for social development. We all need to feel like we belong. Participating in community celebrations helps to foster this sense of belonging in kids. Enjoy the day whether you are watching a parade, waving a maple leaf, singing the national anthem, or eating a snow cone. What flavor is belonging?
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!
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.
After discussion at school and in the family about April Fool’s Day needing to be over at noon, I had a few ideas for the blog and fun tricks to play on family members, like putting a bread shaped slice of paper in lunch sandwiches, slicing a banana that’s still in the peel, putting one … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – April Fool’s Noon/Midnight