Camping might be a vacation activity but it takes lots of muscle power. Physical development and coordination are areas assessed for kindergarten readiness. Generally, kids develop their muscle skills by being active. And camping is certainly that. Just think of all the packing, carrying and hauling, into and out of the car. Then, there’s all the bending and lifting. Once at the site, there might be swimming, climbing, hiking, running, digging, pushing, pulling, tugging, playing in playgrounds, and more. Camping helps develop physical readiness for kindergarten. 1, 2, 3 … race you to the tent. What other kinds of learning can kids do when camping?
Many kindergarten readiness checklists include being able to identify colors. This gives teachers an idea of a child’s level of thinking skills. Colors are a tricky concept. Many objects can be the same color; apples, socks, berries, cars, etc can all be red but the red color can be quite different each time. There’s tremendous variation for each color. In order for children to learn a color they need to see lots of things that are each color and lots that aren’t. Colors are not objects; they are ideas, abstract not concrete. Kids who are struggling with colors may be struggling with other concepts, too.
There are lots of ways to help children learn colors. Camping is a great opportunity to check some out. What color is the tent? What colors are there around the campsite? When driving along, look at the color of other cars, signs, and buildings. What color is everyone wearing? What color of food is on the picnic table? This book “Camping in Green”, written by Christianne Jones, could be a model to make up stories for other colors. A few minutes work on colors will help your child learn this readiness for kindergarten skill. What color is fun?
When camping with your kids, did you know that there are lots of ways to practice some kindergarten readiness math? Let me count the ways….Counting is one of the first math skills that children develop. Count the tent pegs, the number of people in the car, the plates on the picnic table, the towels on the fence, etc. Another skill is comparing: are there more shoes or more people, more marshmallows or more hotdogs, more popcorn or more hands eating it? One-to-one matching seems obvious to adults, but that’s because we know the concept of equal. Helping children learn equal can be done easily: does every person have a swimsuit? There is 1 towel for everybody, that makes how many towels?
Numbers can be very confusing. There is a number on the license plate of the car, but that’s not for how many. When waiting, someone is 1st in line but a whole car of people can be 1st. There’s numbers on the campsite for location. Sigh–it can all add up to be lots of numbers for a little one. So, practicing all the ways that we use numbers is very important for kids and helps with readiness for kindergarten. Camping is 4 counting and 4 lots more, 2. Is that something else to count I see? The ants go marching 1 by 1….
When children go to kindergarten, many times throughout the year they will be doing all kinds of alphabet activities. While knowing the alphabet is not required for going to school, some programs will check if children know some letters as part of readiness for kindergarten. Familiarity with letters shows basic background and an interest in … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – C is for Camping
Happy 4th! The summer begins for many families this weekend and a favorite summer activity is camping. Camping is not only great for fun it’s great for learning, too. As I was working on a blog post that would connect July 4 to camping I discovered a new book that does just that. It’s called “The Camping … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Camping Fun For July 4