Once upon a kindergarten readiness time…Instead of reading books do you and your child sometimes make up your own stories? Did you know that making up stories with your child is a super learning activity as well as lots of fun? Since these posts are about bugs, how about a bug story? Once upon a time there was a little bug who lived in a house in the forest…
As adults, we take the basic structure of a story for granted but children are only beginning to understand that stories have a beginning, middle and end sequence. Some of them have dialogue. Stories are usually built around one event or idea. When you tell your child a story you will use this same structure even if you are not aware of doing so. As with so many things, kids need to experience this same pattern over and over before it gets recorded into their thinking strategies.
Telling stories instead of reading them gives kids a chance to make the pictures in their own heads instead of putting the book’s pictures in their minds. This is called visualizing. Creating pictures also exercises their imaginations, plus they link words and images using context and language. You model for your little one how to think on one’s feet and build on resources that are immediately available.
These are just a few of the ways that telling stories promotes development and kindergarten readiness. As parent or caregiver you have extensive knowledge of what interests your child. You can start with a level and things that are familiar and expand them. For extra enrichment, your child can draw a story and you print the story line. That way you have a unique book to enjoy over and over. Is telling stories doable for you?
Plastic bugs – dollar store; kindergarten readiness learning and fun – priceless. A few bugs and stickers from the dollar store provided hours of play time for supported all different kinds of early learning. Here are some photos from some of the activities:
making groups: Being able to categorize is an important skill; it helps the brain deal with large volumes of information. Kids need to be able to notice details, evaluate if something belongs or not,and make decisions.
counting: Counting is an early math skill and a basis for number sense as children learn that one item is one number and how many objects belong to each number.
1 to1 matching: Being able to match one item to one number is a key to understanding how the number system works. Matching 1 object to another is practice for this brain connection: each caterpillar has a butterfly
patterns: Patterning is another thinking skill that helps children tackle information. They look for structure and repetition and can build on what they see and understand.
sizes: Size is a somewhat tricky concept and has to do with relationships, how much of one thing there is in relation to another.
colors: This a very tricky concept as there is so much variation in colors and so many different things with the same color.Lots of language used too to talk about colors.
These are some sample activities that children can do with anything as they play and learn. They develop all sorts of brain connections that will support later learning. Again, the emphasis is on play. Are these ideas helpful for you and your child?
Yesterday, while working on another kindergarten readiness and bug learning activity blog I saw this fantastic photo on Play, Create, Explore’s facebook page.
Isn’t this pink worm cool? Or maybe that should be hot, as in hot pink! In any case, it’s perfect for talking about colors.
Learning colors is a challenging thinking skill. First, there’s many variations of each and every color name: blue can be pale, dark, greeny or kind of purple and it’s still called blue. Second, very different objects can be the same color, such as green trees, green olives and green grapes. Third, not everybody agrees all the time on what to call a particular color. Case in point: Our house is tan. My son insists our house is pink and explains that it is “a man pink”. And fourth, some of the words are hard for little kids to say, like lellow, wed and puple. For kids trying to get the right name of a color is like trying to hit a moving target that changes, or trying to catch a butterfly.
In order to learn colors, kids need to see many examples for each and every color. Gradually, they figure out which shades go with which name. Did you know that asking kids about colors is often included on kindergarten readiness checklists? This gives teachers an idea of a child’s level of thinking skills. Kids who are having difficulty learning colors may be struggling with other concepts, too. There is no doubt that learning colors is a challenge for young brains.
Even if kindergarten is a long way off for your child, talk about colors and help your child notice them. There will be lots of opportunities for this in a day. You might be able to say “Do you want to wear your red shirt like a strawberry or your green shirt like the grass?” Or, “We don’t want to catch the red bus, we want one with a blue stripe.” All these little bits accumulate to support your child to learn about colors. What colors can you find in your day for your child’s learning fun?
Kindergarten readiness has legs! Actually, the legs were on a centipede. On a walk yesterday, a centipede crossed our path. Of course, we had to stop and look. It was easy to encourage little hands to draw a picture of the bug. While the color isn’t the same, nor are there as many legs, the picture … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Drawing Bugs for Fun & Learning→
Q. What was the Spider doing on the computer? A. Searching the web. Maybe the spider was looking for some kindergarten readiness fun and bug learning activities! Just in case you can’t recognize the picture, it is a spider puppet made from 2 circles of fabric with 8 legs cut from bag handles and 2 … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Bug Puppets For Fun & Learning→
The kitchen is a learning center for all kinds of kindergarten readiness. Our bug snack creations will never rival these incredible ones created by a chef but we had just as much fun. We made banana and peanut butter caterpillars, orange butterflies and ants on a cloudy log ( the arbutus trees in our area do have … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Bug Snacks and Learning For Kids→
Ready, Set, Go, because it’s SUMMER and it’s easy and fun to include kindergarten readiness in summer activities. Here’s an example. In the summer it’s fun to go on a picnic. There’s lots of learning that gets packed along: talking together about what’s needed using language to negotiate, specific vocabulary, helping plan, prepare and organize, encouraging … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Summer Learning Fun→
Although graduation comes years after parents first think about kindergarten readiness, did you know that new research is showing once kids graduate their social skills have a greater influence on later income than academic achievement? (Institute for Social Research) Most important, the peak time for the brain to learn those social skills is during early … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness and Social Skills (with Ladybugs)→
Don’t panic when you read the title, it doesn’t mean kids have to suck up bugs as a kindergarten readiness activity. That’s the name of the tool. This super idea comes from Greening Sam and Avery via Teach Preschool. The entire post is so great you will want to read it all! our new bug tool … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Bug Catcher / Sucker→
Kindergarten readiness involves some emotional bravery. While some children are eager to be off on their own, for many it can be scary. Something as small as a bug can be scary, too. Learning to deal with that issue can help farther down the road. Some children will have had nasty experiences with creepy crawlies … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness– June Bugs For Fun and Learning #14→