Kindergarten Readiness/Early Learning – Minding P’s and Q’s

While working on writing posts for kindergarten readiness and early learning for each alphabet letter, p and q reminded me of the expression “minding your p’s and q’s.” This expression refers to minding your manners, and manners are an important part of social skills. Young children will begin spending time away from their parents, in groups such as day care, playschool, preschool and later kindergarten, and having learned and practiced these skills will help them be more

Following is a simple, short song with some “magic words.” It piggy-backs on the tune Mulberry Bush.

Please, thank you, excuse me, sorry.
Please, thank you, excuse me, sorry.
Please, thank you, excuse me, sorry. These are magic words.

2-for-teaThere are many picture books and stories that you can use as you read and talk with your child about manners. There are even several apps! Plus, you can make up stories to go with a moment when needed. For instance, if your child needs some reminders at the table about please and thank you, have a fork tell a spoon. Or, if a “sorry” is needed when a little one gets water all over the floor after a bath, have the towel tell you it is sorry for the mess and will help to clean up. The dirty clothes can say they are sorry for not getting into the laundry hamper.

Songs and stories are another way of sending the same message, and sometimes our words are more effective when attached to music or imagination. There are certainly other needed social skills such as being able to talk about feelings, self-regulation, sharing, negotiating and others. These and manners skills are not just important for interactions, but also for children’s self-confidence as they increasingly develop their independence. What are some other suggestions for p’s and q’s?

Kindergarten Readiness – Easter Fun & Learning #1

Some of the fun of holiday activities is being able to do the same things over and over. Learning involves repetition as does kindergarten readiness. This year’s Juno musical album of the year was Christmas songs, so this post can certainly repeat some of the same Easter songs that we’ve heard before.

1 little, 2 little, 3 little Easter eggs,     4 little, 5 little, 6 little Easter eggs,
7hug-bunny little, 8 little, 9 little Easter eggs,    10 little Easter  eggs.

This is an easy song and so can be used with quite young kids. Make up a few more verses such as 1 little, 2 little, 3 little Easter bunnies or 1 little, 2 little, 3 little Easter baskets. This song can also use other animals: 1 little, 2 little, 3 little fluffy chicks or 1 little, 2 little, 3 little ducklings, etc.

Here’s another song to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It,  that can use a variety of actions for some moving fun:

If you like the Easter bunny, hop around. If you like the Easter bunny, hop around.
If you like the Easter bunny and you think he’s kind of funny, If you like the Easter bunny, hop around.

The bunny can jump around, hop on one foot, or even sit right down.

Singing encourages lots of brain development and  kindergarten readiness. Children learn vocabulary and rhythm. Music is similar to math as it is based on spacing and sequencing, too. Singing also promotes listening and auditory skills. Singing and moving at the same time is even more of a challenge. Children need to not only think of what to sing and how to move but how to coordinate and do both together.

Readiness for Kindergarten – Math Songs for Learning

On a long car ride this weekend we used as many diversions as possible until the time when we had to load Here Comes The 1 2 3’s by the group They Might Be Giants. Once that Cd is playing it’s on for the duration. What is it about the lyrics and tunes that makes the songs echo over and over and get stuck in one’s head? I have no idea but I do know that kids who listen to and sing these songs are more aware of numbers. Math songs can help with number-sense learning and readiness for kindergarten.

Triops Strawberry

As an example, the song about 3 is called Triops Has 3 Eyes. As the Wee One and I washed some strawberries for snack we found one that was oddly shaped; it had 3 points. “It has 3 just like a triops,” giggled my 3-year old helper. “It’s a triops strawberry,” I added. High five to The 1 2 3’s for that brain connection! (That’s another song, too.)

Even when there isn’t a CD of math songs playing, there are other songs. This Old Man,The Ants Go Marching, 10 In The Bed, 5 Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed, 5 Little Ducks, 5 Little Speckled Frogs, and more. As you and your child sing these songs, your child’s brain is learning about numbers and counting and making all kinds of connections. This helps for kindergarten readiness and kinds of math learning later on. Here’s a song that can count anything: 1 little, 2 little, 3 little … math learnings.

If you are reluctant to sing on your own, many of these songs are available in YouTube. Can you add some singing about math to your child’s day?

Readiness for Kindergarten – Rock Star Pumpkins

Well, not exactly rock stars but who knows? Kids love to sing, especially a few favorite songs that adults get to hear over and over and over. But songs and singing help develop many different readiness for kindergarten areas. The obvious one is language and more than just vocabulary. All that repetition is a way … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Rock Star Pumpkins

Readiness for Kindergarten – Sing a Song for Backpacks

I’m always amazed at the resources I find when searching on the web. I had no idea there were so many songs and videos about backpacks. Singing is a wonderful  readiness for kindergarten activity. It helps to develop auditory discrimination and memory, vocabulary, rhythm, rhyming, language fluency, listening skills, social skills, basic concepts, and that’s … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Sing a Song for Backpacks

Readiness for Kindergarten – Socks For Learning #7

Who knew socks could help families with kindergarten readiness in so many different ways? Rhyming words, sock puppets, stories, counting, matching and more. Today, socks are for singing. Here are 2 songs that use familiar tunes and are easy for kids to sing: Oh where, oh where, did my little sock go?        Hickory, Dickory Dock, Oh where, oh where, … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Socks For Learning #7