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 regularly can guess, already. Rhyming. Why is it so very important? Rhyming is an activity that is based on the skills of dividing words into their sound parts and then recombining them to make new words, something we do when we’re reading. A divide and conquer strategy. Easter has lots of great words for word families: bunny rhymes with funny, money, honey, and sunny. What else? Hop sounds like drop, stop, shop, top, mop, pop, bop …. Try chick, blue, red, green, pink, white, black, etc. Notice that it’s hard to think of ones for purple, orange and egg. One is a fun number to rhyme. Chocolate is a hard word to rhyme, so maybe we’ll just eat it instead. Oops, I’ll have to sign off, my mouth is full of chocolate. MMmmm.