Dr. Seuss

Readiness for Kindergarten – Learning With Dr. Seuss, #5

The Cat in the Hat dishes up some kindergarten readiness learning fun today. Take a look at Cat’s Hat. It goes red, white, red, white. That makes a pattern. Learning about patterns is not just a readiness for kindergarten skill, it’s a fundamental skill for all learning. Plus, it will help to build higher level thinking and problem-solving skills. Kids need lots  of experiences with patterns and lots of repetition.

patterning-snackPart of the attraction of all Dr. Seuss books is the repetitive pattern. The pattern makes the story easy to follow and kids love to predict what might happen next and what they might hear next. Language has patterns, and music, math, and science, too.

Dr.Seuss-snackPatterns help kids (and grownups!)remember. Sometimes, when we have to remember a large amount of information, we use the strategy of noticing a pattern. Suddenly, the amount of information we need to hold in our memory is much, much smaller. The pattern makes the job easier. Being able to notice, figure out and make patterns is a powerful thinking strategy for kindergarten readiness and develops with practice.

This snack has a pattern like the hat. It goes red, white, red, white, red, too. Toddlers might be able to slide the banana slices on a straw but the pieces of apple (or strawberry) may need grownup hands. Have your child say the pattern and tell you what to do next. What other patterns can you and your little one find–or eat–today?

Readiness for Kindergarten – Learning With Dr. Seuss, #4

One of Dr. Seuss’s early books, The 500 hats of Bartholomew Cubbins is the inspiration for today’s Dr. Seuss kindergarten readiness and learning fun activity. Hats are a terrific prop for all kinds of dressing up, imagining and crafts.
The early childhood years are a critical time for developing empathy. We don’t think of this as a skill, but just like other skills it’s something that grows with practice and guidance. Dress-up play for kids is one way to promote empathy. Children love to clump around in mom’s or dad’s shoes, wear their Halloween costumes any time, and will dressup-learning-activityuse anything as a hat. Fortunately, this bowl did not contain any food. Pretending they are different people helps children become aware of other peoples’ point of view. They begin to relate to others and develop empathy. When imagining and dressing-up children are exploring their own, and other people’s identity. Imagination helps kids ‘imagine’ how other’s feel.

For playtime today, do you have some hats and other things your child can use for dress-up fun and learning ?

Readiness for Kindergarten – Learning With Dr. Seuss, #3

cooking-with-kidsDr. Seuss is on the loose with all kinds of kindergarten readiness learning activities. So far posts have looked at rhyming and creativity. Horton Hatches the Egg is one of my favorite books. I remember reading it to my little sister as a bedtime story, but I had to skip the part with all the city names. Instead of hatching an egg today, how about having little “Hortons” help us cook up some eggs? Or a recipe that uses eggs?

Cooking with kids has lots of learning ingredients. Here is a short list:

  • Language: explaining and vocabulary.
  • Math: measuring, counting, comparing and sequencing are just a few.
  • Science: some basic skills include asking and predicting what will happen, seeing changes, observing, and building basic knowledge such as liquids pour, eggs have shells, etc.
  • Reading: while kids won’t be doing the reading they will be seeing that grownups read and that printed materials have meaning. This meaning-print connection is fundamental for learning to read.
  • Social/emotional: when cooking together, kids add to their sense of self-worth. They enjoy feeling like they are helping (even when it might be more help if we could do it by ourselves.) There’s sharing, taking turns, and patience added in.
  • Physical development: stirring, picking up small items, and scooping are a few of the ways to develop fine motor muscles.
  • Safety: kids learn about all kinds of safety such as not touching hot objects, letting grownups use sharp objects and more.

Horton’s list of cities could be much longer, so could the list of learning and readiness for kindergarten fun that happen when cooking with kids. What will you and your “Horton” cook and learn?

Readiness for Kindergarten – Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, #2

Today is both Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Dr. Seuss books show his wonderful imagination. He must have been a powerful thinker because imagining works to stretch and exercise the brain. Imagining is the basis of problem solving and creativity. A blog I read on the weekend reported: “In a recent IBM … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, #2

Readiness for Kindergarten – Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, #1

Tomorrow is the birthday of beloved Dr. Seuss, and Read Across America Day. There are so many wonderful activities to do with kids and so many wonderful Dr. Seuss books that I’m going to do several posts. There are even Dr. Seuss apps. Since it’s the first day of a new month, an appropriate book … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, #1