Recipe for Learning:
- 1 or 2 busy parents or caregivers
- some also busy young children
- a house, apartment, or childcare center
- a few regular, ordinary household activities such as:
laundry, dishes, getting groceries, vacuuming, or making meals
Mix the children in with the adults and the activities. Serve up some learning.
Helping your child with readiness for kindergarten is something that you can do at home. There’s opportunities for all kinds of language, science, physical, math, pre-reading and writing, social and emotional learning. For instance, making meals. Very young ones can get underfoot, but you can give a little one a plastic dish with a few small toys such as cars or blocks and a big spoon to ‘stir’ them up–in a safe space–just like you are doing. Talk with your child about stirring and ask what s/he is making. This encourages language use and development. Older munchkins, where appropriate, can maybe stir the lettuce in the salad bowl or pour the berries into the muffin batter. Again, there’s lots of important language happening along with the social aspect of doing something together and feeling involved. More than just kindergarten readiness, this helps little ones feel important and included at the same time that it dishes up learning. Is this a recipe that you can use?
As a readiness for kindergarten learning activity shopping for groceries counts–by counting! Counting is one of the first math skills that children learn. While kids may know the numbers in the right order, that does not mean they understand about counting. First, children need to learn that one item goes with one number. Lots and lots of practice is needed just counting in order for kids’ brains to make this connection.
The super market is a great place to practice counting. Following are some suggestions. You may ask your little one to get 2 boxes of cereal. Another possibility is putting 5 apples in a bag. Have your child count with you as you pick out carrots. How many bananas are in a bunch? Older kids may be able to do some adding. For instance, there are 3 oranges in the bag now and how many with 2 more? If there is 1 jug of milk in the fridge at home and 2 more in the shopping cart how many jugs? The Express checkout says 10 items. Does your basket have 10 or more than 10? (photos-public-domain.com)
There’s lots of ways to have fun with numbers and help your little ones with kindergarten readiness when getting groceries. Does this 2 for 1 work for you?
Now, that the list is done (see yesterday) it’s off to the store for some more readiness for kindergarten learning. The grocery store is like brain candy. There’s all kinds of stimulation for the senses. On the first aisle you could ask your child what colors s/he sees. How about shapes? And textures? On the next one, listen for different sounds, such as voices, background music, squeaky carts, etc. The produce aisle could be smells, especially this time of year, with peaches, strawberries, oranges and mores. What smell do you like best? There’s things that are okay to touch: a pineapple feels kind of poky on top, not soft like the tissue rolls. Ice cream is cold, brr. It’s hard to wait until getting home to taste it.
The trip to the store, with all the experiences of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting has been a valuable kindergarten readiness activity. It may not be obvious but your child has had some first-hand science exploring and discovery time and lots of language stimulation, too. What did your little one discover at the store? Q. What are twins’ favorite fruit? A. Pears!
August = All around the house. That is, the theme for blogs this month is how to help your child with readiness for kindergarten by doing ordinary, regular activities. Days are already so busy with jobs and household chores that it’s hard to get everything done. But kindergarten readiness can be tucked in with laundry, dishes … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Grocery Shopping
No time to prepare your child for kindergarten? Helping your child with kindergarten readiness can be done at the same time as you are doing what you need to do, even if it’s the vacuuming. I don’t know about you, but vacuuming has never been high on my list of fun things to do. To add both fun … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Vacuuming Can Be Fun & Learning
Any room in the house can double as a learning center for readiness for kindergarten activities. This time, science takes a bath (in either the tub or the sink). With a little water and several containers and bottles of different sizes, let your child experiment with how much water it takes to fill them up. Figuring out … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness Takes A Bath – Learning Fun At Home
Bath time can be learning time. While no kindergarten readiness checklist will have an item for science, exploring and discovering are part of growing and developing for kids. A bathtub (or kitchen sink) can be full of learning. Some things float and some things sink. Give your child some objects and have him/her check to … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness Takes A Bath – Learning Fun At Home
Doing laundry sounds like…learning. I can think of some other descriptions but I’d better not include those. In any case, the laundry can be used to help with readiness for kindergarten. Before kids learn to read, they need to figure out that words are made of bits of sounds. (This is called phonological awareness.) For instance … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Learning Fun At Home/Laundry
Previous blog posts were about sorting the laundry for some readiness for kindergarten language fun and some basic learning about size and colors. Now, that the clothes are washed it’s time to put them away and have some physical activity playtime. Laundry rooms never seem to be in convenient locations but putting the clothes away doesn’t … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Learning Fun At Home/Laundry
Sorting the laundry can be a readiness for kindergarten activity. The laundry can help your child learn some basics like size and colors, in addition to categorizing and vocabulary (see yesterday’s post). To help your child with the concepts of size use some of the clothes in the laundry. Towels and facecloths are often 3 sizes–small, medium and big. Size … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Learning Fun At Home/Laundry