Emotional Development

Readiness for Kindergarten – Pumpkin Soup Serves Up Learning

With cooler weather, it may be time to simmer up some soup this weekend. Pumpkins make good soup and serve up some readiness for kindergarten learning.

  • There’s lots of science if you make some from scratch and your little one may be able to help scoop out the pumpkin.
  • As you read the recipe you model for your child the importance of reading.
  • Ingredients need both counting and measuring, 2 important math skills.

Ready-made soup dishes up learning, too. There are social skills about working together, sharing, and behavior at meal times.
If pumpkin soup doesn’t really appeal in your house, try this book on the menu.
The children’s story, Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper, explores some basic emotions and social skills. Three friends, Duck, Squirrel and Cat make soup together. When a squabble arises, they have to deal with hurt feelings and find a solution. For kids to feel comfortable and eager to learn they need to develop early social skills. New research is showing that social skills, not just academic skills, have an impact on achievement. (Institute for Social Research) Exploring and learning about emotions and interacting positively with others is part of kindergarten readiness.

No matter is your soup is homemade, from a package or a book, would you agree that learning is an ingredient?

Readiness for Kindergarten – Camping & Learning(Feelings)

I like camping, most of the time, but not much in the rain. How about you? Camping with kids has some wonderful learning opportunities that will help little ones with readiness for kindergarten. This blog will explore camping and emotional development in children.

Kindergarten will put some extra pressures on kids’ emotions so it’s helpful for little ones if they know the names of feelings and have some experiences talking about them. For instance, night time can be especially scary because a tent or trailer is so dark. Having to share so much time and space with a sibling may be fun and frustrating. The whole adventure of camping is more than exciting. Help your child match the feeling with the name for it. Some children are confused when they feel both a positive feeling and a negative one at the same time, like happy and scared, or when someone else feels something very different than they do.

Because kids do not yet have all the words they need, parents and caregivers need to help them talk about their emotions. If needed, sometimes a story can be used as a starting point. In “Olivia Goes Camping” by Alex Harvey, Olivia enjoys camping and can hardly wait to go but her friend has very different feelings. Knowing basic emotions is part of kindergarten readiness and, like so many other skills, learning about them starts long before school does. Have a great time camping–and learning! How do you feel about camping?

Kindergarten Readiness – Valentines & Friendship

Once upon a valentine….One of my favorite stories for Valentine’s Day is One Zillion Valentines by Frank Modell. 2 boys decide valentines aren’t just for girls and make some to share. They learn about being friends and concern for others, good things for kids to learn. All too often we limit kindergarten readiness to academics. Social and emotional development is a key part, too. There’s all kinds of social learnings that happen for little ones so they can cope and thrive in a large group with others. Valentine’s is a great time to talk about having friends, making them and keeping them. More than that, it’s a hands-on learning time because kids get to do more than just talk. They get to make something to give to others and to share and have fun altogether. Especially at this time of year, there are lots of other books and stories with the same theme. What books do you like for Valentine’s Day?

Kindergarten Readiness – E=Empathy

Just heard a radio interview with Jeremy Rifkin, the author of The Empathic Civilization. In his book he states that we are hardwired for empathy and compassion. The topic of empathy is a good choice for E. Empathy is awareness of others and sensitivity to their feelings. Although young children do not have the same understanding as older … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – E=Empathy