Laundry is another one of those chores at home that can use a measure of fun & play but it can also be a great kindergarten readiness learning opportunity, too.
When sorting the laundry, make groups of clothes according to their category, “These are the towels, these are the sheets.” Sometimes, kids can put items in the correct group but not always give the name of the category. Another way to sort clothes is by color, especially all the whites. Red items can sometimes turn a whole load of clothes quite pink so it is important to put them all together by themselves. Parents and caregivers can explain what they are doing and ask little ones where things should go, too. ‘Accidentally’ put something in the wrong category and be it’s voice as it says “No, this isn’t where I go, I belong over here with these ones.” Let your child supply some of the yes/no answers, too, in the voice of the towels or tee-shirts.
Categorizing involves lots of thinking. First, kids have to check if an item is the same or different and then match it to other items. Once the laundry is done, then the sorting becomes even more complicated. Socks need to be sorted not just into groups but with their exact mates. Size, color and patterns all come into play. Yes, sorting laundry can be fun and readiness for kindergarten learning at the same time. Does this wash with you?
Once upon a time there were some dishes….
Reading books to your child is one of the most important ways to promote kindergarten readiness. But reading books and doing dishes are not doable at the same time. On the other hand, telling stories does work and it’s a form of play, too. Make up a story about doing the dishes: maybe there were some magic dishes that washed themselves or a mean witch who put a spell on a sink so that no matter how many dishes were washed more dirty ones appeared. (Sounds like my house, but it can’t be blamed on a witch.)
People don’t have to be the only ones talking. Ask the bowl if it liked the breakfast cereal. Have a conversation using your voice and a bowl-voice. I know this sounds silly, but children’s stories are often imaginative and include dialogue. This helps kids understand what ‘story’ is about. Your child may be old enough to take part, too. Plus, not having book pictures lets kids visualize and imagine their own mental images.
Just doing the dishes has involved lots of language, building a foundation for later reading, imagining and visualizing. What story do your dishes tell?
Doing the dishes is not one of my favorite activities but there is a way to make it more fun and d0 kindergarten readiness activity at the same time : singing. Here’s 2 versions depending on how they get done at your house. (tune–Here we go ’round the Mulberry Bush)
This is the way we wash the dishes, wash the dishes, wash the dishes.
This is the way we wash the dishes and clear the table.
This is the way we put in the dishes, put in the dishes, put in the dishes,
This is the way we put in the dishes, and clear the table.
Adding more versions is quite easy, too: start the dishwasher, empty the dishwasher, dry the dishes, put dishes away, etc.
Singing and simple songs like this help for readiness for kindergarten. It’s a way to train the ear and brain to listen carefully, strengthen the memory for hearing, and coordinate the words and the tune. Music uses a system that’s similar to math, going up and down a scale like numbers go up and down, so it also builds the thinking pathways for math. There, did that make doing the dishes more fun for you and your little one?
Another dishy readiness for kindergarten idea is 1 to 1 correspondence. While kids learn to say numbers when they are quite young actual counting comes later. They first have to understand that one number goes with one thing. Setting the table is a meaningful activity to practice 1 to 1 correspondence. Each person needs 1 … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Learning Fun At Home/Dishes
All kinds of readiness for kindergarten learning can happen at home. Here’s more kindergarten readiness activities that you and your child can do along with the dishes. Talk about sizes with your child. You might say something along the lines of “Look, these 2 spoons aren’t the same size. One is bigger and one is smaller.” What else is the … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Learning Fun At Home/Dishes
All last month’s blog posts were about the different kindergarten readiness skills that kids can learn when camping. This month, I’ll focus on readiness for kindergarten activities that you can do at home. Think of your house, condo, apartment, or suite as a fully-equipped learning center. The only question is where to start? No matter what’s on the agenda for … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Learning Fun At Home/Dishes