What do pirates collect? Treasure. What do kids collect? Tra…, well, they call it treasure. Seashells, rocks and coins are obvious items to collect. As are stickers, cars and trucks, and ponies. But there are other things, too. Collections can be all kinds of different objects from one place, one event, or from a trip or holiday. A collection can be all one color; a small foil tart container, a bit of silvery wrapping paper, some sparkly ribbon, a mismatched orphan spoon, and a shiny new dime make a silver collection. Kids use all kinds of vocabulary to talk about their collections. Explaining why one item can be part of a collection and another one can’t be gives children an opportunity to use reasoning skills. Organizing, choosing, evaluating, and comparing are a few other skills used in making a collection. We might call what kids collect just trash but the skills used are anything but. Can you share some suggestions for collections?
Books, drawing, math, reading, cooking, and other skills have all been part of the moose on the loose series. Another simple activity that you can do in minutes at home is basic science.
Given the likelihood that your child has not yet seen a live moose, use an animal that is familiar, such as a cat or dog. Ask your child if this creature is a plant or an animal. Then, ask your child what is the difference between a plant and an animal.
While the answers may seen evident to us, this is part of the learning and discovery of young children. A 3 year old child may only be able to give 1 or 2 differences. A 4 or 5 year old may be ready for something far more advanced, such as do all plants need dirt? Engage the imagination by thinking how the world would be if trees had legs instead of roots. Why do animals need to be able to move around instead of growing in place like plants?
Whether or not your child knows the correct answers is not as important as the wondering, the questioning, the being aware. Watching an ant cross the sidewalk is science. Looking way up to the see the top of a big tree is science. Many of the answers for dealing with this terrible oil spill will come from science. Our kids need to begin to develop their science skills now, too, to help prepare them for their future challenges. Will you be seeing any moose on your summer vacation? What other science can we learn from moose?
An apron in a store window said “Let’s make a moose in the Kitchen. What a great idea so today’s tip is a quick, Non-messy fun with kids project. Let your munchkin help you wash some fruit, an apple, orange, strawberries, etc. Bananas are a good soft fruit for practicing slicing, using a plastic knife. Adults need to cut up the rest. A straw can be used a child-friendly skewer . Place the slices of fruit on the skewer. If your child is able, introduce the concept of a pattern sequence, for instance apple, orange, banana, strawberry; apple, orange, banana, then what comes? Patterning is a basic skill for math, language, reading and more. Hopefully, there’s not much moose in your kitchen, only lots of eating and learning. Yum. Know any other child-friendly recipes?
Parents’ trash can be kids’ treasure. Children can make a treasure out of almost anything, but whatever it is can be the start of a collection. And collecting is another way to build readiness skills. The most obvious one is categorizing: to what group do all these things belong? Another is sorting, for instance, these … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Collections
Everything including the kitchen sink!! The kitchen sink is usually a fine place for some basic science but just because some things can go down the drain, a big plastic bowl may be a better ‘sink’ today. Yesterday was so much fun playing in the water in the sink that here is another idea. This … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – More Water
This weekend was a watery one at our house. We watched the ship on which our son is stationed and 30 others in a Fleet Review. Then, the next day we had a picnic down at the beach with our granddaughter. It just seems to flow (pardon the pun) to suggest a water-play activity for today. … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Kids & Water
After April Showers, the rain leaves great puddles. Yes, puddles can be another learning opportunity–but stay out of the road so you don’t become part of one! Next time it rains, go for a walk and check out all the different shapes. Are puddles round or square? Maybe, their shapes look like something else: a … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – April Showers and Mud Puddles