Backpacks are on on track for the kindergarten readiness skill of rhyming. What words sound like back and pack? Yak,track, black, tack, jack, quack, crack, etc. Children will learn to rhyme about the age of 4, but in the meantime, they need to hear lots of rhyming words. One way to do this is with books that have lots of rhymes. Very little kidlets may not understand all the words when adults read to them, but rhyming texts tune their ears and minds and set the foundation for this skill. Older children like to predict the words based on the previous rhyme. This story has lots of rhymes about something that is making Lin’s backpack jump and it’s written by Helen Lester.
Another way to help children learn to rhyme is to play with words. On the way to the bus or while doing a task, ask you child if two words rhyme, that is sound the same at the end. For instance, do back and track sound the same? How about pack and dishes? Try a few more and if needed, grownups can supply the answer as well as the question.
Playing with words is more than readiness for kindergarten. It shows children’s phonological awareness–that is, the notion that words are made of sound bits that can be used in various combinations. Rhyming is an activity that is based on the skills of dividing words into their sound parts and then recombining them to make new words, something we do when we’re reading. Did you know that rhyming is used as a quick predictor of children’s readiness for reading? Not all children will be able to rhyme when they start school which shows that some more experience with words is needed. What other words rhyme with back and pack? All this work is making me hungry–is it time for snack to help get the knack?
With some of the backpack monster snack we made yesterday, a hat for the sun, a jacket, and of course a backpack, your child is ready to go…to the playground. A playground has all kinds of opportunities to practice and develop readiness for kindergarten.
- Time at the playground is more than working off energy. Whether or not your child knows how to pump the swing, the back and forth motion is a basic rhythm. The slide is up/down. There’s climbing, jumping, running, pushing, pulling, etc. Coordination, timing and position in space are a few more.
- Playing in the playground is not just good for kids’ physical development but social, too. For instance, sharing equipment, waiting a turn, interacting with others.
- Many children learn to overcome their fears about trying something new as they venture to play on the equipment, and other emotional challenges.
- There’s lots of things to count at the playground: steps, swings, number of times, etc. And lots of things to talk about and new words to learn.
Backpacks and playgrounds make a terrific pair to help support children for kindergarten readiness.
Besides monsters (see yesterday’s blogpost) another thing that can go in backpacks is snacks. Speaking of monsters, an easy snack to make is Monster Munch, aka Trail Mix. Here’s an idea that kids can help make and practice some readiness for kindergarten, too.
In a large bowl you and your child can mix together a small amount of some finger-food favorites such as: cheerios, cranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds, fishy crackers, mini-pretzels, puffed wheat, pumpkin seeds, shreddies, corn puffs, tiny seaweed crackers, dried fruit, etc. Nuts are another possibility depending on allergies. Your child can happily stir these together. Once done, a few scoops in a reusable container should tame the monster’s snack appetite.
Cooking with kids helps develops all kinds of kindergarten readiness skills. For a start, at school children will need to be fairly self-reliant and independent when it comes to snack time. Having a snack that kids can make and serve themselves is one way to practice. Often, sequence in a recipe is very important, just like the skill. All these small items will help children develop fine-motor coordination as they pick out their favorites to eat first and continue with the rest. Kids also feel a sense of achievement at making something. This recipe also allows for a good measure of creativity. Can you serve this learning ?
While we all encourage children to use their imaginations, there are better times than the middle of the night when imagined monsters hide under the bed. At school, when important notices never seem to make it all the home I often joke that there’s a monster in the backpack with an appetite for paper. Using … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Genie in a Backpack
Backpacks not only rock, they bubble and fly, too. Using imagination they can. For a physical development and readiness for kindergarten activity you and your child can pretend that you are moving with a backpack that’s filled with all different kinds of things. Using imagination muscles as well as body ones, you and your child can pretend … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Backpacks Rock
When most people think of readiness for kindergarten, they think of academic skills like letters, numbers, printing a name, etc. For kids to feel comfortable and eager to learn they need to develop early social skills. These would include understanding basic emotions such as happy, sad, mad, scared, and interacting positively with other children. Playdates … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten-Backpacks & Early Social Skills
For a whole month I haven’t posted about words and sounds. For those of you who check-in regularly, you’ll know that one of the consistent suggestions for kindergarten readiness activities is to play word games with little ones. Why do I mention this so often? Because the understanding that words are made up of sound … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – B is for Backpack
Did you know that more than 80% of families now live in urban areas? Ensuring that our children develop a connection to nature is more important than ever. Whether it’s a city park or wilderness area there are many things to explore and discover and much to see and wonder about. Kids and green go … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Have a Backpack Adventure
September 8 is World Literacy Day. According to UNESCO while literacy is still a major concern around the world it is also a reason to celebrate because nearly 4 billion people are literate. To celebrate at home, READ. How old should kids be to read to them? New research is showing that beginning before a … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Backpacks for Literacy
More accurately, it’s the kids and grownups that do the counting. Counting is a kindergarten readiness skill but because children develop at different rates some will count higher than others. In yesterday’s blog post I explained that counting is a math skill that children develop at an early age. In order for them to count … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Backpacks Count