Readiness for Kindergarten – Learning Fun At Home/Laundry

Doing laundry sounds like…learning. I can think of some other descriptions but I’d better not include those. In any case, the laundry can be used to help with readiness for kindergarten.

Before kids learn to read, they need to figure out that words are made of bits of sounds. (This is called phonological awareness.) For instance in the tee part of t-shirt there is the ‘tuh’ sound and the ‘eee’. Some children will be able to hear if 2 words start the same or different by the time they come to kindergarten but for all children it’s important to play with words. Laundry can be a time for some word fun.

T-shirt starts ‘tuh’. When sorting or folding a t-shirt use a different sound, for instance call it a key-shirt or a sea-shirt. Your child will very likely correct you and say that it is a T-shirt. If not, ask your child if that is right and supply the correct sound yourself. Do something the same with sock, such as calling it a bock or a mock. To encourage your little one to play along, hold up some pants and ask what it is. Then ask “Did you say mants?” Provide a few other silly words and soon your child will get the idea, and the giggles, too. 

If your child seems ready, compare some beginning sounds. For instance, ask if there is something else in the laundry that starts with ‘tuh’. How about towel? Does that start the same as t-shirt? Do shirt and sheet start the same? How about jeans and socks? Do they start the same? These word games are more than kindergarten readiness. They are preparing your child for careful listening and later learning to read. Laundry and learning both start with l.


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