For most of the month of November, the learning activities have been all about getting to know you and doing a little book with kids called “All About Me”. For kids, talking and learning about themselves as individuals, helps them develop their self-confidence and boosts their self-esteem. Plus the language and other skills promote kindergarten readiness. This activity involves some simple measuring.
Measuring height doesn’t have to be in inches and centimeters. It can be done in non-standard units that have more meaning and relevance. For fun and learning, instead of measuring how high on a door frame, have your child lie down and see how many shoes long s/he measures. Then, have your child measure you or another child. Some other measuring tools might be straws or popsicle sticks or train track pieces. Standard tape measures are quite abstract; they are not as easy to understand as real objects.
To measure weight (or mass) let your child put a phone book on the scale and see the numbers move. Try a few other things. Toddlers just like to see the numbers change or the dial move. Older ones often like to make the numbers get bigger. They may like to weigh themselves to start and then check out what happens when they hold things, too. More important than kindergarten readiness is the discovery and the exploring and the learning fun. What other things can be measured? Is this measuring up?
This month is November or, using the play on words, Knowvember. To date, with help as needed, children have colored a picture of themselves, written their name, traced a hand and foot, colored their hair, eyes and a cake with candles for their age. These little “All About Me” books are growing just like they are. At the same time, this project promotes kindergarten readiness. Kids are learning that things written down have meaning. More importantly, they are learning about themselves which is part of social and emotional development. Onto page 7.
The next page is your child’s drawing of home. Talk about the shapes your child is making, the kinds of lines, and the colors needed. What color is your door? Are there numbers on it? This uses lots of vocabulary and language. Once children have finished, adults can print: This is a picture of my home.
As an extension activity, look thru some old National Geographic magazines for pictures of houses and homes. Walk around the area and look at the houses. Are some like yours? Are some different? Build some homes with blocks, Lego, cereal or shoe boxes, or even with kitchen chairs put in a square and topped off with a safe roof. Such imaginative play is essential to children’s development and kindergarten readiness. You will be amazed at the complex language, negotiating, and problem solving that occurs when children play.
Q. If the red house is on the left side of the street and the blue house is on the right side, where is the white house? A. In Washington DC. Where is your house?
Welcome back after the weekend. This week we’ll finish off kids’ All About Me books. Ordinarily, I like to have a variety of activities covering different areas of kindergarten readiness, but some of the readers are planning to do these little books and give them away as special gifts. So, onto Page 6. (Even if you have just checked in, you can start right here.)
Another idea for kids to share about themselves is a page for age. Have your child draw and color his/her favorite cake, or if not yet independently coloring, adults can draw the outline and guide little hands. Draw one candle on for each year old. This activity helps kids make a one-to-one correspondence. Again, as with all math and other kindergarten readiness skills, kids need lots of repetition and practice before understanding. Talking about years and birthdays is one more bit of information that builds the concept of time. Just for fun, ask your child how old s/he thinks you are! (Any guesses as to my age?)
No matter if you have been following along, or just joined, you are off on the right foot. For the previous 4 blogs, we’ve been encouraging kindergarten readiness by helping kids create their very own All About Mebook, from head to toe. Any predictions for today’s quick project? (predicting is a problem-solving, reading and kindergarten … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Footwork→
Hands sure do come in handy. For page 4 of your child’s All About Me book, have your child put one hand on a paper and help trace around it. (see the blogs just before this for pages 1-3) Together, talk about the hand, noticing all the lines and other features. Put your hands together and … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – A Handy Idea→
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→