Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
Will your child be ready for kindergarten?
Did you know that comparing sizes is a complicated thinking skill? It’s a great deal more than learning the words big and little and requires considerable brain connections.
Size is all about relationships instead of being about the bigness or smallness of something. A riding car is pretty small compared with a real car, but it’s pretty big compared to a matchbox car.
The riding car hasn’t changed its size, it stays the same, but it can still be big or small at the same time. No wonder the brain has a challenge figuring out sizes. Young children need lots of experience with using the words for sizes and with comparing objects.
When cutting up apples for a snack, I asked if the kids wanted big ones or small ones. Of course, they wanted big ones. I then showed them that the small apple was big when compared to a really small toy apple. We teased and played with some other apples making lots of different big and small ones.
Big Sister understood more and was more capable of accurate comparisons than Little Sister. Big Sister is big when she stands by Little Sister, but she is little when she stands by me.
This apple puzzle uses sizes to make a sequence. Other toys can be used to give children an opportunity to explore sizes. So can the measuring cups and spoons in the drawer or even the shoes at the door.
As with other strategies and skills, kids need lots of hands-on experiences to figure out sizes. With kids, maybe we could say that big learning comes in a small size?
Imitating is a powerful strategy that children use for learning; babies as young as two or three weeks old can imitate a simple facial gesture, such as slowly opening and closing a mouth. (Meltzoff/Moore, Uni. of Washington) As they play, older infants and toddlers show much more imitation of adult behaviors. This is one reason why so many children’s toys are small versions of objects that adults use, such as play kitchens and cars.Continue Reading
Where is the Mind, Anyway? Last week, I heard an interview with Sam Keane, author of a new book called “The Tale of The Dueling Neurosurgeons.” In his book, he explains that for much of history, the mind was considered to be located not within the brain but within the heart. Unfortunately, it seems thatContinue Reading
Parents and caregivers often ask what young children need to know before kindergarten; this is the final post in this series on kindergarten readiness and early learning basics. No matter the age of your little one, this will give you a general picture of what to do as your child’s very first teacher. Kindergarten readiness,Continue Reading
Have you heard all the Olympic athletes talk about setting goals for themselves? Some were successful in achieving them and some terribly disappointed. But they all had something to strive for. How about children? Do they set goals? They surely do. We sometimes call it by less positive names as a baby in a highContinue Reading
Supporting your child’s play activities is an important way to encourage kindergarten readiness. While playing may not seem to be a learning strategy nevertheless children’s brains are exploring and connecting in countless ways. Children are practicing valuable thinking skills as they play. They are tuning in to all sorts of social cues and practicing how they work. InContinue Reading
Ready to cook up some kindergarten readiness? Whether he knew it or not, this young boy was showing another critical learning and thinking strategy. It’s hard to see in the photo but as he was cooking in the play kitchen he was also sorting the small toys. The cars and trucks are in the little sauce panContinue Reading
One…two…and kindergarten readiness makes three! “Watch me, watch me,” said the wee voice and I dutifully watched. “I’m going to jump all the way, 1 2 3.” And she did. The task could be anything, but I realized as I cheered on the jumping toddler that what children are doing when they ask us to watchContinue Reading
Reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic may be the 3 R’s but there is another R that is especially helpful for young children and kindergarten Readiness: Routines. Yes, routines is an important learning and thinking strategy. I will admit that I’m not greatly fond of having routines. ‘Whatever’ or ‘whenever’ are words I use often. But I’ve hadContinue Reading
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. TinyContinue Reading