1 little, 2 little, 3 little seeds to plant…and to learn about, not just for kindergarten readiness. Planting seeds is one of those activities that kids can do over and over and somehow it never loses the magic. Bean seeds are a favorite to plant because they grow quickly and are big enough to see changes. Soak a few seeds for an hour or two or overnight. There are a few ways to plant them. A clear plastic glass with a bit of dirt will work and make it easy to see the roots. I saw this idea of using a paper towel roll to make little pots by folding the bottom edge over a little bit but I love the idea of putting the seed in a plastic bag and taping it to the window. We dipped a paper towel in water and tucked it in the bag, too, to keep the soil moist.
There’s lots of learning about seeds, plants, caring for them, growing, cycles, sun and more. While this isn’t specific information that kids need to learn before kindergarten doing a project and watching how it turns out are basic developmental as well as kindergarten readiness skills. Children practice being patient even though it is very hard and are rewarded with green sprouts that reach onward and upward, just like we hope our little kidlet sprouts do. Do you agree we’re not just planting seeds but planting learning, too?
Weekends are special times for fun and learning, and kindergarten readiness can piggy back onto your activities. With more time than during the week, how about cooking up some fun? Spring is a great time for playing in the mud–right in your very own kitchen. This mud is made of yogurt and a little chocolate milk mixed together. The next ingredients are favorite fruits. Because bananas are soft, they are easy for little hands to slice with a plastic knife. Big hands sliced the apple and peeled the orange. This big apple slicer cuts the apple into a flower shape. Fruit pieces taste extra yummy when dipped in the mud.
The kitchen is a great classroom. Kids can learn lots of readiness for kindergarten and life skills when they are cooking and ‘helping’. Here are a few of these skills: creating, planning, organizing, using visual details, measuring, counting, sequencing, comparing and more. Language skills include questioning, explaining, and learning specific vocabulary such as stirring, mixing, ingredients, etc. There’s some basic safety lessons and the responsibility of cleaning up after cooking, too. Just having places where things go introduces kids to a basic system of organization. Plenty of grownup activities depend on having a system. Besides math, language and thinking skills there’s valuable social skills like sharing and working together. Can you and your child cook up some learning?
Exploring the sense of touch is a great kindergarten readiness activity for babies to older children. This morning we saw pussy willows and were able to bring a few home to touch and feel. They were so very soft and not just for fingers; I rubbed them on L.’s cheeks, too. To extend the activity we went on a treasure hunt around the house to find more soft things. We talked about how things felt and used other words like fluffy, scratchy, cozy, hard,etc. L. put some soft things on a pillow. (A few toys even got picked up off the floor and put away because they didn’t ‘belong’.)
Making a group of things that are soft involves lots of thinking. Kids have to hold the concept of soft in mind and then objects have to be judged and compared to see if they belong or not. Making groups and categories also makes brain connections.
Touch sensations help children develop awareness of their body. The sense of touch is also important for language and safety and how things feel can also impact emotions. Lovely as the pussy willow feels, a hug feels even better. What does your child like to touch and feel?
Encouraging kids to draw also encourages kindergarten readiness. Wee little ones start out with random squiggles and scribbles that develop later into recognizable shapes and objects. Some kids love to draw and their talent shows at the age of 3 or 4! For other children (and many adults) drawing can be a struggle. Drawing has lots … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Spring Fun & Learning Activities #4→
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→
Any season has fun activities for kids and kindergarten readiness but spring seems especially appropriate. After all, it’s the season for new growth. And speaking of new, lots of baby animals are born in the spring. Kids seem fascinated with baby animals, even just in pictures. One of my favorite spring songs is all about … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Spring Fun & Learning Activities #2→
Do you remember the blog topic from last week? It was about memory! Memory skills are like many others–they improve with practice and exercise. For young children, memory skills are developing and they often surprise with the things that they remember and older ones, like teenagers, surprise us with the things they forget! Because of … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Memory Skills #6→
Familiarity with numbers can be considered part of kindergarten readiness. In order for children to understand number and the concept of ‘how many’ they need lots of opportunities for counting and exploring numbers. Since we’ve been talking about seeds, they can be used for counting, too. Apples are usually a reliable source of a good number … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Spring Math→
Some regions seem more spring than others, but an ordinary walk is an amazing chance to practice observing skills and extend basic science knowledge, adding to kindergarten readiness at the same time. Put on your shoes or boots, depending on the weather, and head outside. You and your child can put on your special noticing … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – It’s Spring!→