Now that we’ve explored the 4 basic shapes, it’s time for some inside-outside exploration. As you work a round (pardon the pun) the house or childcare center today, help kids notice the shapes. Set the timer for 1 minute and send the kids off to find and count the most squares, the most rectangles, the most circles and the most triangles. This can be played with just 1 child, too, and 1 grownup but be prepared. Some kids are very visual and may find more than the adult! Since eyes are circles, they can play I Spy and look for a shape.
For outside, take a walk around the area and notice shapes. Picking out shapes that they see around them helps children develop visual kindergarten readiness skills such as observing and visual discrimination. It’s really quite a complicated skill because kids need to have a mental picture of shapes and then compare what they see to those mental images, sorting thru them to find a match. What shape do you see most often?
Q. Why couldn’t the circles go to the dance? A. Because it was a square dance.
For learning fun and kindergarten readiness, this is shape week. The shape of the day is a square. Are any of your child’s toys a square? Kitchens and bathrooms sometimes have square tiles. Some cupboard doors and windows might be squares. Container lids are often squares. Matching the name to the shape is one bit of learning. The concept of equal is another and squares have equal sides. Following is a craft that uses 4 popsicle or other sticks–all equal.
Measure 4 popsicle sticks to see that they are the same size. Glue them together to make a frame. Help your child decorate it with feathers, old puzzle pieces, stickers or other material. Find a photo to fit in the frame and tape it so it won’t fall out. Or, your child could color a picture and put it in the frame. This makes a wonderful little gift, quite flat for mailing, if needed. Plus, it’s been a great way to learn about squares and to have fun creating. Does this idea square with you?
For activity #2, learning shapes for kindergarten readiness, we’ll do the shape of hugs–circles, that is. This can be fit in with many of your day’s tasks. For instance, while putting the dishes away or setting the table ask your child if any of them are circles. As you walk somewhere today, you and your child can look for and maybe count some circles. While busy in the house, check a room for circles. Are there some rooms with no circles? Which room has lots of circles?
Lots of decorations are circles. Here is a craft idea that uses circles. Using old cards trace around a cup or jar lid and cut out 4 circles. Fold them in half with the picture part inside. Put glue on half of the backs of 2 circles and glue them together like a letter T. Do the same with the other 2, then glue the 2 T’s together. Now you have a circle shape made of circles. Attach a ribbon to make a tree decoration. Speaking of circles, what shape is a hug? Remember, 4 Hugs A Day Is The Minimum (song by Charlotte Diamond)
What’s the shape of the day at your house or carecenter?
All this week, I’ll post some quick ideas for learning about shapes that tie in to Christmas. Holidays add extra fun to kindergarten readiness. Since there are lots of Christmas trees to see, have your child look at the shape. It’s like a triangle shape, with 3 sides and 3 pointy corners. At home, check the house … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Learning Shapes
All around the Gingerbread House, we added decorations. Gumdrops, smarties, candy canes; can hardly wait to eat it. Yum! (tune: Pop Goes The Weasel) This is one of my favorite Christmas activities. There are so many different lessons and it’s so much fun for the kids. For example: the colors of the candies and the … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Gingerbread House Learnings
Helping your child or children at your carecenter prepare for school is not an extra item on the to-do list–it’s something that can be done with regular, everyday activities and with ordinary things you already have. This reading and writing kindergarten readiness activity uses an orange peel. Do you remember being little and trying to keep the … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Reading & Writing
Taking advantage of minutes here and there in the day and piggy-backing learning activities onto whatever you are doing are effective ways to promote kindergarten readiness. Today’s suggestion connects making a meal to some fundamental science. Think the picture on the right is pasta? It sure looks like pasta that’s perhaps been colored for an art project. Would you … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Pasta Lesson
Decorations are great for tons of math exploration and kindergarten readiness. Sort and count how many balls, birds, snowflakes, etc. Which kind has the most? Are there 2 groups that are equal? Which group has the smallest number? Some decorations might be the very smallest in size but not the ‘smallest’ in quantity. Decorations have … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Decorate, Play & Learn
Telling time is a skill. Understanding time is experience. A sense of time, just like other kindergarten readiness skills, is something that needs lots of meaningful experiences. Time can be confusing. 2 minutes of waiting time feels much longer than 20 minutes of fun. Time has lots of different parts, too. December begins tomorrow. Of … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Sense of Time
‘Tis the season…to wait in lines. These waiting time minutes can be used as learning time. We can exercise thinking, even if bodies have to be still. For wee little ones, sing some quiet songs or have a stuffie sing the songs. For older kids, here are some thinking games: How many things can you think of … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Learning While Waiting