Easter bunnies don’t only have to hop. For some Easter fun, kids can try different ways to move. (Doing this along with the kids is great exercise for adults, too. ) Start with a hop on 2 feet. Next, try a hop on 1 foot and then the other. The Easter bunny may need to jump. Jump on 2 feet, then each one. Maybe, the Easter bunny would like to try to skip. Skipping is harder for young children because it involves coordinating a more complicated movement. What else? Add some twirls, walking on both feet and hands, walking on 2 feet and 1 hand, and some rolls along with the hops.
Exploring and discovering what bodies can do, how they work and how parts work together is part of early childhood development and kindergarten readiness. Big movements develop big muscles and gross motor coordination. They also help strengthen the skeleton. I mentioned this in a blogpost on March 26: A professor of medicine, Dr. Heather McKay has been researching the role of exercise on skeletal development. “There is no time as important as childhood for the health …of a skeleton,” she advises. Early activity can actually change the shape of bones, making them stronger. Kids can also try some balancing on each foot and walking on tiptoes or heels. If you are in a location with lots of space, the Easter bunny may want to jog or run. All this bunny exercise helps kids stay fit and healthy as well as encouraging readiness for kindergarten. Q. What is a rabbit’s favorite dance? A. The Bunny Hop! What’s your favorite dance?
Did your Cookie Tree grow? (see Growing a Cookie Tree post in March) Well, at Easter I like to have lots and lots of Easter eggs. I saw a picture of an Easter Egg tree and wondered how I could have one for my yard. I bet the people planted a bird’s nest and it grew into an egg tree!! Let’s try that!
Science can be exciting and fun! While planting and growing things are not specifically part of kindergarten readiness, discovering and experimenting are part of learning from the moment children are born. Readiness for kindergarten includes all kinds of learning experiences and experiments. For this one, if you can’t find a nest to plant, plant an eggshell. That might grow an egg tree, too. Add a little water and sun. At the very least, kids will be practicing a little patience from now until Easter but there are other skills, too. Questioning, wondering, observing, and connecting different bits of information are just a few. Oh, and a sense of humor! Isn’t this a good yolk?
With Easter coming up, use a few Eastery items for some learning fun. If they are in short supply at your house or care center, you can use the idea with any other materials.
Number sense develops gradually, building on all kinds of experiences. Counting is the first strategy that develops and is part of kindergarten readiness, too. Find a container that can be a basket and use blocks, lego, plastic spoons, jar lids, even socks, as pretend eggs. You and your child can be the Easter bunnies and put some of these ‘eggs’ into the basket. For example, say to your little one: “Okay, Bunny, put 3 eggs in the basket,” etc.
Try lots of random numbers, as appropriate for your child. If your buunykin is comfortable with counting, try the flipside where you put the ‘eggs’ in the basket and s/he tells you how many there are. As adults we would think the two activities are the same but they are different skills: one is counting, one is identifying. Many children will still count to figure out how many are there but these kinds of experiences help children link number and quantity as well as promote readiness for kindergarten.
Q. How many eggs can you put in an empty Easter basket? A. Only 1! (then it isn’t empy anymore) What other Easter things can kids count?
Using the theme of Easter, kids have been able to practice some basic math, explore movement and enhance big muscle development, and enjoy an art activity and tradition this week in just minutes a day. Here’s another quick and easy idea but one of critical importance for learning to read. Those of you who read … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – What Rhymes With Bunny?→