Play Activities

Kindergarten Readiness ABC’s – W is for Work and Play

Today’s blog post on kindergarten readiness fun and early learning is brought to you by the letter W. Work starts with the letter w, and for children, play is their work. Play is how children learn and the activity can vary from splashing in the tub, zooming a toy car across the floor, lining up all the stuffies, doing a puzzle, building a tower, or hugging a doll. As children play, their brains are creating all kinds of connections and pathways as well as figuring out how the body functions.

kitchen - CopyPlay happens anywhere and everywhere, and with almost anything. The containers in a kitchen drawer or an empty box can be just as much fun as toys. Kids play both indoors and outdoors, alone or with others. Since W is the letter of the day, how about some fun with wheels, wagons, or water? Put the plug and a little water in the kitchen sink, along with some spoons and containers and kids will happily pour, measure, and discover what floats and sinks, Cars, trucks, and trains all have wheels. Built-in sound effects aren’t needed because kids can make any noise required. Wagons can be pulled outside and filled with all kinds of nature treasures. For more play ideas, here is a podcast link to a radio show that I did with Jeff Johnson, from Explorations Early Learning on Learn and Play with Mrs. A.

Play is fundamental to the development and well-being of children and it is our responsibility to protect children’s right to play. What work and play can your child do today?

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!
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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: … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – I = Instructions & Imagination

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