For wee little ones, Presidents Day in the US, or Family Day in some parts of Canada, does not have the same relevance that it will later. At this point in children’s lives, this day may mean that some family members get to stay home, or there is time to go to the playground or to a special community event. And that is quite okay. One way to honor this day is to spend some time doing something together. Some ideas are to cook up a treat, play with toys, make up a story, go for a walk, read some books, do a puzzle, etc. This is one way we build relationships and children learn from experience. As a matter of fact, President Washington himself talks about relationships in his famous quote that “True friendship is a plant of slow growth.” Close- ness is something that develops over time. So, in the spirit of this day, and to promote learning about social interactions as part of kindergarten readiness, enjoy an activity together, adults and kids. What will you do today?
February’s blog topic is all about social relationships. Most of the time, children are with familiar faces and that helps them feel comfortable. School will have lots of new, unfamiliar people and this can create stress for little ones. To help them cope, try a little practice in various different groups. For young toddlers, there may be programs in your area for parents and kids together. Children get to practice meeting new people while still having the security of parents or caregivers. Later, there may be some facilities where older toddlers can go on their own for short periods of time. If children have been at the same daycare since they were very young, they may be quite comfortable. Some time to practice in a new setting may still be helpful. A few possibilities might be a story-time at the library, a community playgroup, a parks and recreation or city program. Coping in groups is part of kindergarten readiness and like many other skills, practice beforehand helps. Does this work for you?
February is a great month for talking about social relationships. For kids of all ages, learning social skills is a big challenge and important for more than just kindergarten readiness. Like all skills, they take practice but playing and imagining make the task much more fun. Here’s a please and thank you game.
Most toddlers understand that we say please and thank you to people. Today, ask things like chairs, the floor, the sofa, the dishes, even your shoes. For example: “Good morning, shoes. May I please put you on my feet?” Using your best shoe voice answer with a yes. Of course, you’ll need to tell your shoes thank you and have them reply that you’re welcome. Ask the chair if you could please sit down or the floor could you please walk on it. Tell your coat thank you for keeping you warm and the pen thank you for letting you write, etc. Use lots of different sounding voices. Kids think this is funny (so do other adults that may hear you!) and often join in the fun saying please and thank you to their clothes and toys. It’s hard for anyone not to giggle when talking to a towel.
This lesson takes no extra time at all, you can do it in any room of the house, there is no cost whatsoever, and best of all, it’s easier for kids to remember than countless reminders.
Is this game fun for you and your children?
To read or not to read? Nope, that’s Not the question. The question could be–To read a book or to tell a story? Stories do not need exotic ideas; they can be about anything. Here’s some possibilities: -what the sock found at the bottom of the laundry hamper, -what the plate said to the bowl in … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Reading Resolution
Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve so here is one last Christmas kindergarten readiness activity for this year. Ask your child to draw a holiday picture. When the picture is ready, have your child tell you one thing abut the picture. Print that out and then read it by pointing to each word. Encourage your child … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Holiday Memories
In some areas, asking children to write their name is part of evaluating their kindergarten readiness. Names are often the first words that children write and read by themselves, especially the names of other family members and close playmates. To help children write names you can copy them out in large letters and have your … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Kids’ “All About Me” Book
What color are your eyes? Page 3 of your child’s All About Me book (see the 2 previous blogs for page 1 and 2) says: My eyes are _____________. Have your child draw and color his or her eyes. Help print the correct color word. Ask your child to think of some other things that … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Eye Spy
Yesterday, being at the start of Know..vember, kids started their very own getting to know book called All About Me. The first page was your child’s drawing of him or herself. Today’s page starts with a look in the mirror and you can combine this activity with getting ready to go somewhere. Have your child … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Child’s First Book
November is a No month, (no sun, no picnics, no camping…see yesterday’s blog). But it is a good time for a “know” month. Getting to know you, that is. For the month of November, we’ll explore some activities that help kids to learn about themselves and others, too. Social skills and knowledge are more than an … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Know..vember
This month the blog topic is readiness ideas for vacation. Does your child have a special interest in a particular topic? Dinosaurs, cars, trucks, trains, boats, farm animals, different countries, fish, whales, knights, castles, ballerinas, cats, dogs, bugs, and more are some of the more common ones but I’m always amazed at the variety and scope … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Pack a Book