Today is the last day of February and tomorrow is March 1st. Although some parts of the country look as white as a lamb, the old saying about March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb is not referring to snow. No matter if the weather is still winter or hinting about spring here’s an activity about March that can be done inside or out–marching. Listen to some fun music and go for a march. March around the house or around the block. March upstairs and down. After Marching, try some tip-toeing, some big steps, and some little steps. Maybe, sliding, gliding, skipping, hopping even crawling. Try using different parts of the body, not just feet. Can you march with hands, knees, tummies?
Exploring different ways to move helps children strengthen their large muscle skills and motor coordination. While being part of kindergarten readiness this is also part of growth and development. I won’t suggest running, kids already do lots of that! 1, 2 3 March.
Hmm, could we add our own music?
I’ve been waiting and waiting for the letter X because X marks the spot, or in this case, a readiness skill to go with X. This skill is one of my favorites and every day at kindergarten we do this before we even start. It’s called connecting both sides of the brain and boosts brain power. With arms by your side, bend one arm up at the elbow so that the hand almost touches the shoulder. Now, with the opposite hand, touch the point of the elbow. Now, bend the other arm and touch the bottom of the elbow with the other hand. Repeat a few times. That’s it. It’s a simple exercise but it connects the right and left halves of the brain so that they work together. We do a few more, variations, such as touching one shoulder with the opposite hand and one hip with the opposite hand. I call them shoulder hugs and hip hugs. Knee hugs are very tricky and challenging for little kids. Crossing this imaginary line that goes down thru the middle of our bodies, the mid-line, actually connects some wiring in the brain. Babies do this when crawling. Adults can do this, too. It can help think of an answer to something perplexing. (Plus, all of us need to appreciate ourselves and give ourselves hugs.) Maybe that’s why we mark mistakes with the letter X. It’s just a signal that we need a little more brain power. Fire up your brain’s turbopower with the letter X!
Children have amazing energy. Their seemingly endless supply of ‘go’ can be used to develop large muscle control, usually called gross motor coordination. Gross motor activities include jumping, running, hopping, rolling, dancing, twisting, tumbling, pushing, and more. Because children’s muscles are growing and developing it’s important for them to have opportunities to move and explore what they can do. Wouldn’t it be great if we could use that energy? The song Hokey-Pokey exists in many languages. Use whatever one your child understands and adapt the words. Here’s some suggestions to this favorite tune. Vary the work ones with some fun ones and help enhance your child’s gross motor skills at the same time.
You put your toy-oys in the toy-oy box. You put your toy-oys in the toy-oy box. You pick them all up and you put them away, and that’s what its all about. Yeah.
You hop on one foot and the other one, too. You hop on one foot and the other one, too. You jump back and forth and side to side, and that’s what its all about. Yeah.
You put the dirty clothes in the laundry basket. You put the dirty clothes in the laundry basket. You pick them up and you pop them in, and that’s what its all about. Yeah.
You make 2 big circles with your straight arms. You make 2 big circles with your straight arms. You put your arms out straight and circle them around and that’s what its all about. Yeah
You put the dish-es in the dish-hwasher. You put the dish-es in the dish-hwasher. You clear the table and you put the dishes in, and that’s what its all about. Yeah.
Now, the work’s all done and we’re ready to play. The work’s all done and we’re ready to play. We’ll have a little rest and maybe a snack, and that’s what its all about. Yeah.
After a good Breakfast this morning, here are some skills that start with the letter B. Balance is the first one; it’s an important ability in motor control. Kids love to challenge their sense of balance as they walk on low fences, lawn edging, benches, and whatever else is nearby. As you go somewhere today … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – B=Balance, Balls→
The headline in the paper said “The Hoop Is Back”. The reporter interviewed Sadie Yancey from Virginia and Toronto and she talked about the increasing popularity of hula hoops and their health benefits combined with fun. A hula hoop is a great idea for kids. Learning to hula with one can be tricky but kids can also roll it … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Hoop it Up→