This week, either to take advantage of summer weather or to encourage the sun to supply some summer weather, playground time has been the topic. There are countless different ways of building on that playground time to expand children’s learning. When kids are little learning is fun and all the teachable minutes add up to a considerable total by the time they start school.
On the playground today take advantage of all the things that can be counted. How many steps up the slide? How many high are the monkey bars? Count how long it takes to slide down the slide, whee…1, 2, 3. If your child knows how to count, here are some thinking questions: do more fingers go down the slide or do more feet? how many swings do 3 people need to swing? Addition and subtraction can even be included. If there are only 3 swings, can 4 people swing? How many more swings would there need to be? If there are 5 alligators in the swamp by the slide and 2 more in the swamp by the swing, how many alligators are in the swamps? Parents and caregivers do not need to do more than just 2 or 3 of these at a time to make a significant difference. Out of 20 or so minutes at the playground a couple little activities are easy to squeeze in and from years and years of experience in the classroom I know it’s powerful. Just don’t get close enough to count alligator teeth!