For most of the month of November, the learning activities have been all about getting to know you and doing a little book with kids called “All About Me”. For kids, talking and learning about themselves as individuals, helps them develop their self-confidence and boosts their self-esteem. Plus the language and other skills promote kindergarten readiness. This activity involves some simple measuring.
Measuring height doesn’t have to be in inches and centimeters. It can be done in non-standard units that have more meaning and relevance. For fun and learning, instead of measuring how high on a door frame, have your child lie down and see how many shoes long s/he measures. Then, have your child measure you or another child. Some other measuring tools might be straws or popsicle sticks or train track pieces. Standard tape measures are quite abstract; they are not as easy to understand as real objects.
To measure weight (or mass) let your child put a phone book on the scale and see the numbers move. Try a few other things. Toddlers just like to see the numbers change or the dial move. Older ones often like to make the numbers get bigger. They may like to weigh themselves to start and then check out what happens when they hold things, too. More important than kindergarten readiness is the discovery and the exploring and the learning fun. What other things can be measured? Is this measuring up?
Welcome back after the weekend. This week we’ll finish off kids’ All About Me books. Ordinarily, I like to have a variety of activities covering different areas of kindergarten readiness, but some of the readers are planning to do these little books and give them away as special gifts. So, onto Page 6. (Even if you have just checked in, you can start right here.)
Another idea for kids to share about themselves is a page for age. Have your child draw and color his/her favorite cake, or if not yet independently coloring, adults can draw the outline and guide little hands. Draw one candle on for each year old. This activity helps kids make a one-to-one correspondence. Again, as with all math and other kindergarten readiness skills, kids need lots of repetition and practice before understanding. Talking about years and birthdays is one more bit of information that builds the concept of time. Just for fun, ask your child how old s/he thinks you are! (Any guesses as to my age?)
Squirrels are busy animals in the fall. Do squirrels do math? How many nuts have they squirrelled away? Since many of us do not have nut trees in our backyards, we’ll have to pretend that some blocks or duplo or cheerios are nuts to use for counting, adding and subtracting. For quite young “squirrels” it’s enough to work on this pile has more than this pile and some basic counting. Older “squirrels” can make groups or sets: make a group of 4 nuts. Can you do a set of 7? How about 2? Ask which group is bigger, which is smaller, which group has the most, which has the fewest. Try some sharing, “Here’s one for you, one for teddy, one for you, one for teddy.” This is an early form of dividing. Or some patterns: a green nut, a red nut, a blue nut; a green nut, a red nut, a blue nut, a green nut, now what comes? Let your child be a squirrel and put some cheerio-nuts in small containers. How high can you count? How high can squirrels count?
Besides using fall leaves for nature studies and art projects, here are some math ideas. Look over the leaf collection and first sort them into different groups. Maybe some are small and some big, or some are round or jagged or have lots of points, or some are one color and some another. Talk about why … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Fall Leaves for Math→
For our apple activity #6 that’s helping kids prepare for kindergarten, slice a yellow, green and red apple. Let family members or a group of kids taste each of the 3 colors. Ask each person to decide on a favorite. How many people like each color? What color is the most popular choice? Is that … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Taste a Color→
Thursday and three start with the same sound. Plus, Thursday this week is Day 3 of school. Today, then let’s see how many things we can find that have the number 3. In the living room at our house is an antique milk-stool with 3 legs. The roof on our house makes a triangle which has … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Thursday & Three→
Since the number for 2day is 2, here are some other activities for 2. Wear clothes that have 2 sleeves and 2 legs. Put on 2 socks and 2 shoes. Wash 2 hands, jump 2 times on 2 feet. Clap 2 hands, sing 2 songs. Look for the number 2 on signs. Check out faces for 2 eyes, … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Two=Fun→
Why couldn’t the pirate play cards? Because he was standing on the deck! Playing cards is another way to practice math. If 2 people are playing, divide the deck in 2 halves. Each player takes half, all cards in a pile face down. Pirates, of course, like lots of treasure. Each player turns over the … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – More Pirate Math→
Pirates should be pretty good at math, one would guess. After all, think of all the counting they have to do: counting their loot, measuring how many steps before burying their treasure, knowing four (fore) and halft, working on the quarter deck, etc. Today, put on your pirate hats and count. How many steps is … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Pirate Math→
This moose topic really is on the loose! The activities just keep horning their way in–oops, I mean antlering their way in. But it shows how parents and caregivers can take an idea that captures kids and expand it to include all kinds of readiness projects. For today, some moose math. Draft some small blocks or … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Moose #5→