Kindergarten Readiness

Before I Go to Kindergarten – Checklist for Readiness

“Before I go to kindergarten, there’s lots I can do!” What helps your child be ready for kindergarten? Here’s an infographic checklist.

Just recently, an infographic was shared in a group of parents and teachers with some pre-kindergarten goals. While a goal is something to work toward, not a requirement, many of us were concerned that these goals didn’t match the development of pre-kindergarten kids. Plus, they were all academic. Instead, we talked about what we thought were more appropriate ones. This infographic grew from that sharing.

Stay tuned for more posts  on how to encourage readiness for your child. AND…what to ask the school to do to be ready for kids.

P.S. You are most welcome to share this with parents, caregivers, and anyone else connected with young children. Please, let me know any suggestions and if there are any typos…

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Summer Fun and Learning Outside for Kids: Bubbles

There are so many activities that can happen outside in the summertime for fun, learning, and for those kids who will be starting school, for kindergarten readiness too. Blowing bubbles appeals to kids of all ages; it can be done many times and kids will still want to do it again.   summer fun activities for kidsA bubble is so much more than soap and water. For something so small, there is a big feeling of accomplishment when a child succeeds in creating that shimmering bit of rainbow that floats away in the air. Kids get really excited when it first happens and will proudly exclaim, “I did it.”

Blowing bubbles needs a good deal of concentration. Kids need to pay attention to what they are doing or they risk missing the action. The bubbles appear as if by magic, and kids practice focusing on something that is close and in front of their eyes. This is a pre-training for the eyes and is similar to the focusing needed for reading.

summer fun activities for kidsThere can be running and chasing or just sitting quietly. While it is a very individual activity it can easily be done in any size group, and that way those playing can share comments and surprises.

The bubble itself is quite a surprise. The soap and water transform into something different using something invisible. We can’t see our breath and how it changes the solutions, but there is a definite result.

summer fun activities for kidsBlowing bubbles can be quite simple and it’s enough to have just a small bottle of soap solution and a single wand. But it can also be quite complicated with inventions and recipes to create different kinds of bubbles, including square ones, and astonishingly big ones. Best of all though is the result: wonder and appreciation.

Who knew soap and water could be such a potion? Mixed with childhood, summer, and outside…magic. For a play-of-the-day, how about some bubble fun?

Summer Fun and Learning Outside for Kids: Water Play

pirate activities for kidsSummer days are perfect for water play outside and any water spilled on clothes will quickly dry. Water play is not just fun, but also pours out lots of kindergarten readiness fun and learning.

While there are tables specially made for water play, any big container will work such as a bin or big bowl. Water play is very much a sensory activity, stimulating the senses of touch, hearing, seeing, and, with kids, sometimes tasting. Some kids do not even mind soap bubbles!

Some of the things that kids learn are:

  • Water pours down, unless we squeeze or squirt it in other directions.
  • Water doesn’t have its own shape, instead it takes the shape of containers.
  • Water can freeze or pour.
  • It takes several small containers of waters to fill a big one, and a big one fills a little container and then overflows.
  • If a container has holes, the water comes out.
  • Some things float in the water and some sink.

pirate activities for kidsKids like to explore what floats or sinks with items such as plastic bottle caps, jar lids, wooden blocks, popsicle sticks, cups, small bottles, clean rocks and more. Often, kids put things inside another container and watch the container getting lower and lower until water spills over the edge and it all sinks.

Play is an early form of science. As children pour, dip, splash, and stir, they are carefully watching what happens–this is observation. They do the same actions over and over again–testing. They remember the results of their actions and make their own “theories” such as flat things float but then they try something flat that sinks and so they play some more–experimenting.When we ask questions about what they are doing, kids will share their discoveries. In science, that’s called reporting.

And all this is child’s play. Do you agree water play is a good fun and learning activity for outside in the summer?

Child’s Play Reaches To Outer Space

Children all over the world dream of flying and adventuring to space, and for some kids that play can be a dream come true. Play is important for learning, fun, and readiness for school in kindergarten, but more significantly, for life! Astronaut Chris Hadfield adventured far beyond Earth to the International Space Station Endeavour. He … Continue reading Child’s Play Reaches To Outer Space

What Factors Will Most Influence Kindergarten Readiness?

At this time of year, with the start of school fresh in our minds, parents and caregivers of toddlers are concerned with the issue of kindergarten readiness. Many would like to know what factors will  most influence kindergarten readiness. Just recently, Audrey Breen summarized some important research for an article in UVA Today. The results … Continue reading What Factors Will Most Influence Kindergarten Readiness?

Kindergarten Readiness – June Bugs For Fun and Learning #7

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home but first can you help us support kids with some kindergarten readiness learning and some June bug fun? Supporting children as they learn and play can use whatever is close at hand, in any room of your home. The ingredients for this learning fun activity are simple, a round lid … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – June Bugs For Fun and Learning #7

Learning and Thinking Strategies #15

I sometimes feel like I’m only at a kindergarten stage when it comes to computers but, to make it worse,  I’m missing the kindergarten readiness and preparation. Thankfully, a little one came to the rescue by showing me another important learning and thinking strategy. When kids first learn to walk they take baby steps. Tiny … Continue reading Learning and Thinking Strategies #15

Kindergarten Readiness – Spring Fun & Earth Day Activities

Earth Hour tonight will be long after bedtime for many little kids so their lights will already be turned out. But there are other ways to participate and promote kindergarten readiness, too. During the day, taking a walk in the park or around the neighborhood is one way to celebrate the earth. What’s the weather like? … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Spring Fun & Earth Day Activities

Kindergarten Readiness – Spring Fun & Learning Activities #8

Spring is the time for planting and today’s kindergarten readiness fun is planting some math. Math is somewhat like a seed; it’s ideas that get planted in kids brains that grow into all kinds of connections. For kids to learn that numbers mean how many they first need to understand that one number means one … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Spring Fun & Learning Activities #8

Spring Fun & Learning Activities #3

The calendar says today is the first day of spring although the sun crossed the equator yesterday; that gave me the idea for today’s kindergarten readiness activity. The Equator is the mid-line of the planet. Our bodies have an imaginary mid-line too but it goes from the top of the head to the nose, tummy button … Continue reading Spring Fun & Learning Activities #3