This will make a baker’s dozen of how hockey can help with kindergarten readiness. Angela Crocker, author of “Social Media for Dummies” has a 4 year old son. I asked her if watching the series has been a learning opportunity for him. She answered: “Absolutely … He’s asked many “why” questions, learned to read “Go Canucks Go”, kept track of the score and done the math in his head on how many goals are needed to win. He’s also taken it upon himself to make blue & green Canucks’ flags with paper, crayons, scissors, tape & wooden skewers without grown up help.”
That’s a lot of learning, for sure. When children are excited and involved, the learning possibilities are tremendous. Angela also commented that she was surprised by the depth and focus of her son’s attention and the questions he asked as he tried to figure things out. Attention skills are a key area of readiness for kindergarten as is the motivation to understand.
Whether events are ordinary and everyday or something different and unusual, there will be lots of ways to help children learn and to develop their readiness for kindergarten. What have been some of the learnings for your little one? Thank you Angela, for sharing your experience and comments, and thank you to your son!)
Some years when the kindergarten classes go skating, I think that one of the most important lessons that kids learn is that when you fall down, you get up and try again. With a whole class, it’s rare to see all the kids on their feet at the same time. Fairly often, there is one child in the class who spends more time sitting on the ice than standing on it. Some kids are discouraged after falling only 2 or 3 times; some show amazing determination as they get back up over and over again. This skill to keep trying is more than kindergarten readiness. It will get lots of practice over the years.
Watching this long Stanley Cup series, has shown the example of adults that keep trying, too. Discouragement at this level must be tremendous. Their fall-down-get-up skill gets the most practice of anybody. This is a lesson that kids learn from their own experience and from the example of those around them. While some of the things kids see when watching hockey are not at all positive examples, this one is a readiness for kindergarten and beyond. Go, Hockey, go.
In addition to learning about shapes, colors, numbers, opposites and more (see previous blogs) hockey can also be fun to draw. Drawing is certainly a kindergarten readiness activity. Little ones first just experiment with making marks and lines on papers. Then, they attach meaning to these scribbles. Later on, their work shows some resemblance to what they are drawing. Children will grow through these stages at their own rate but lots of drawing experiences will help their development.
With the Stanley Cup Finals continuing on to Game #7, there’s lots of interest in hockey. Give your child a big piece of paper and some crayons to draw about hockey. Ask your child to tell you about the drawing. For older kids, grownups can write what the child says on the paper, too. This helps children make a connection between what something means and what is written. This is another “shot-on-goal” in your child’s readiness for kindergarten learning time. Go, Hockey, go. (Picture title: skating all around, artist: L.M, 2 ‘nahalf)
Depending on the the score in tonight’s Stanley Cup Finals Game #6, we may finish with hockey later this evening. If not, it’s on to Game #7. But learning from hockey and using it to promote readiness for kindergarten can continue. One of the best kindergarten readiness activities that parents and caregivers can do is … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Kids Learn From Hockey #10
As all parents and caregiver know, kids like to move and be active. Especially after watching hockey, it’s exciting to pretend to play hockey. Unfortunately, I discovered that kids using soft pool noodles to hit a paper bag stuffed with newspaper can still be a bit dangerous. Not because getting hit with the bag hurt. It was the … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Kids Learn From Hockey #9
When children go to kindergarten, many times during that year they will be doing all kinds of alphabet activities. Knowing the alphabet is not required for going to school, but some programs will check if children know some letters as part of kindergarten readiness. Familiarity with letters shows some basic background and an interest in … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Kids Learn From Hockey #8
Surprisingly, there are lots of things that kids can learn from hockey that will promote kindergarten readiness. So far, there’s been blogs on learning numbers, colors, shapes, and opposites. Plus, 2 more with a simple science experiment and language development. With the Stanley Cup series tied at 2 games each, I’ll risk doing a blog post on the emotional … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – How Kids Learn From Hockey #7
Sure enough, I had another suggestion for things kids can learn from hockey. Opposites! That idea is pretty obvious. Here are a few: cold-hot, up-down, in-out, win-lose, behind-in front, happy-sad, black-white, big-little, go-stop, and I’m sure there are more. Opposites are not easy to get right, but they are an important language and thinking skill. … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Hockey Learning #6
After yesterday’s Stanley Cup Finals game, I’ll just blog about something neutral: shapes. Hockey has lots of examples to help kids learn about shapes. Pucks are round like circles. There are circles on the ice, too. Some people have flags on their cars. These are a triangle shape. Tickets are shaped like a rectangle. The scoreboard … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – High 5 for Hockey
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’–cause it’s round, the hockey puck that is. Hockey pucks only come in a thick circle shape. That makes them great for sliding, rolling and for an easy science activity. Using a short board or even a long cookie sheet, place one end down on the floor and the other up on a … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Hockey Science Activity