Play Activities

ABC`s – M is for Making Crafts

While making crafts is a favorite activity for children and supports kindergarten readiness, and early learning and fun, it’s not just for kids. Just a quick glance at Pinterest will prove that there is phenomenal interest in crafts among adults!
For many people, the enjoyment of crafts first starts when they are young children. The variety of activities is astonishing, as well as the mountains of materials that can be used. If there is a craft box at your house it might contain beads, buttons, pipe cleaners, paper rolls, sparkles, fabric, yarn, pine cones, bits of paper, pasta, string, plastic containers, egg cartons, cotton balls, colors, lids, and popsicle sticks, to name only a few. Plus any other bits and pieces of junk, er…treasure, although kids will use other items that they find and collect, as they play and create.

As children make all sorts of crafts, their minds are: planning, organizing, sorting, fitting, comparing, sizing up,and deciding. Hands are busy cutting, gluing and fitting together. Besides lots of thinking and doing, they are talking and using lots of language. They are imagining and creating, which gives them a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment, much like grownups.

For a play-of-the-day, can your child have some making crafts fun for the letter M?

Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – L=Look/Listen Fun & Learning

Whether we are crossing the road, or supporting our children’s early learning and kindergarten readiness, looking and listening are important strategies. They will be the plays-of-the-day. Some looking activities might be:Little Girl Painting in Class

  • Share a picture book together. Talk about the pictures. Check out the details such as color, shapes, textures, etc.
  • Have some paper, paints, colors, chalk and other resources for your child. If necessary cover the whole kitchen floor with newspaper and dress your child in very washable or no clothes in case they need a bath, clothes and all.
  • Make a craft box with all kinds of goodies for putting together. Sticky contact paper is wonderful for attaching stuff and doesn’t drip off the counter.
  • Playdough gives some 3-d visual stimulation. So do blocks and other construction materials.
  • Go on a shape or color walk around the neighborhood to see what there is to see.
  • Play I Spy when waiting.

dancing - 2For some listening fun:

  • Sing some songs together. That requires listening to each other and to the music.
  • Play some music for your child to dance to.
  • Instead of looking at a book, listen to the recording of a one.
  • Tell a story to your child. The only pictures will be the ones that the words paint.
  • In a safe place, close eyes and listen to the sounds. Can you guess them?
  • Very young children love to listen and imitate animal sounds,and there are lots of stories for that. Or, you may be able to find some animal sounds and have your child guess the animal.

These are just a few plays-of-the-day for listening and looking. Would you agree that the letter L has lots of learning fun?

Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – I = Instructions & Imagination

We all have 2 eyes, so for some letter “I” kindergarten readiness and early learning and fun, here are 2 plays-of-the-day: Instructions and Imagination.

When kids go to preschool and kindergarten, and even around home too, instructions can be a challenge. My friend, Blythe Lipman, has 2 and almost 3 books about kids and instructions: Help, My Baby Came without Instructions, and Help, My Toddler Came Without Instructions, soon to be born April, 2013. She has a radio show called Baby and Toddler Instructions on Toginet, which gave birth to RockStar Radio where I have my show Learn and Play with Mrs A.  She has sent along an idea for helping kids have fun when they practice following directions. This is her suggestion:

When it comes to your little ones and instructions, giving them more than one at a time can sometimes be challenging.  For example; asking them to put away their toys, come brush their teeth and get ready for a bath is too many words. Most children will only hear the first request, especially a toddler.  Try this instead, “It’s time to put your toys away. Let’s sing the clean-up song and see if you can put all your toys away before the end of the song. Great job! Now it’s time to brush your teeth. Help mommy set the timer and I want you to brush your teeth until you hear the bell ring! Look how clean those teeth are!” Now, it’s much easier for your child to listen and to follow the instructions about toys, teeth, and bath because all 3 were divided into steps, 1…2…3.

boy-playingdinosThank you, Blythe for Instructions.

Here’s the other letter I. Even though we all have imagination, it needs exercise, too.  At some point in your day, you may want to include some imagination fun. For example, when serving a snack, be the voices of the plate and the snack as they meet each other. Or you may want to imagine all the places a lost sock could be visiting before it comes home. Imagination is a powerful learning tool, but best of all, it’s great fun. What will you and your child imagine today? Will it need any instructions?

Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – H = Hands-On Learning & Fun

Look, Parents, see what hands can do for all kinds of early development and kindergarten readiness learning and fun. In this case, it isn’t “no-hands” it’s “hands-on.” One of the handiest tools that kids have for interacting with the world around them is hands. Once babies discover their hands, it seems children’s hands never stop … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – H = Hands-On Learning & Fun

Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – G is for Early Childhood Games

Gee, playing games with kids is not only fun, it’s a great way to encourage learning and kindergarten readiness, and interact with others. One of the first games that babies play is peek-a-boo, often followed by “the chase” as soon as kids learn to crawl. Bathtime rituals may begin or end with a “come-back-here” streak, … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – G is for Early Childhood Games

Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – B is for Block Play

Did Santa bring any blocks or construction toys to your house for play-time and, of course, some kindergarten readiness learning and fun? Block play is a super activity for building all kinds of brain connections and thinking strategies. Following is a short list of a few of them. When kids engage in block or other … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – B is for Block Play

Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Puppets

Hands inside a puppet make both the puppet and learning come alive, helping with kindergarten readiness in many different ways. Puppets: stimulate lots of conversation. Children practice using the language patterns of each person having a turn to speak. Asking questions is a development skill and kids can ask their puppets questions and give the … Continue reading Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Puppets

Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Water Play

Hands playing and having fun in water develop brain connections and help kids with kindergarten readiness. And water play can happen at the kitchen sink, in the bathtub or outside with a tub of water. Containers, plastic bottles, spoons, straws and sieves will provide kids with tools so they can scoop, pour, fill, and measure. … Continue reading Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Water Play

Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Puzzles

Helping your child with kindergarten readiness doesn’t have to be a puzzle. But puzzles can help with developing skills and brain connections. Usually puzzles are wood or thick paper pieces with an unlimited variety of pictures. As your child puzzles out how the pieces fit together s/he is practicing: sequencing, patterning, visualizing and visual perception, … Continue reading Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Puzzles

Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Sand Play

Playing in the sandbox for some kindergarten readiness learning and fun certainly uses hands, so it’s another handy idea. Once kids have learned not to eat the sand, they can also explore digging, scooping, filling and dumping. This definitely appeals to kids because they do it over and over. There are many kindergarten readiness skills … Continue reading Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Sand Play