A Parade to Celebrate Fun, Learning, Kindergarten Readiness

Did your family get to watch a parade this weekend? Many communities had their own parades this weekend, plus there were some on tv, so a play-of-the-day idea for fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness could be having a parade. A parade can be inside or outside, depending on the weather and parades are appropriate for kids of various ages. Besides marching around, dressing up in costumes and using some items to make noise music adds to the fun and learning.

pretend parade playCostumes for a parade can be as handy as a few clothes for dressing up. Since this is a winter parade, try a big white shirt to make a snowman. Reindeer only need to wear some paper antlers and clowns red noses; toy soldiers need bigger hats and maybe red shirts. can be in the parade too. Dresses for princesses may need to be hiked up so they are not too long. A box covered in wrapping paper, with holes for arms, can be a walking present. Some items, like long scarves or old, costume jewelry may require extra supervision by adults and caregivers. For instruments, put a few items in a small plastic container to be shakers. Paper towel rolls can be horns. A wooden spoon and the lid of a pot are a quick drum.

pretend parade playThere’s lots of learning in this activity. Rhythm and coordinating movement to a beat are physical skills that are developing in young children. Just marching left, right, left, right can be tricky, let along making sound on an instrument at the same time. A parade promotes sharing and cooperating strategies and, probably, some negotiating ones too. After all, not everyone can be first to lead the parade. A paper towel roll covered with foil can be the baton for leading the parade and kids can take turns. Think of all the imaginative and creative play involved in a pretend parade.

Usually, when just a few kids start to march around, others will be eager to join and the parade gets bigger and bigger. Though he isn’t walking yet, the baby wanted to play too. What a fun way to start the holiday season!

Child’s Play Reaches To Outer Space

Children all over the world dream of flying and adventuring to space, and for some kids that play can be a dream come true. Play is important for learning, fun, and readiness for school in kindergarten, but more significantly, for life!

importance of imaginative playAstronaut Chris Hadfield adventured far beyond Earth to the International Space Station Endeavour. He played the guitar and sang the first song ever recorded in space. He was inspired at the age of nine as he watched Apollo landing on the Moon, but his interest in flying began much earlier than that. Along with others written about in this series, an artist that drew on the wall about the age of 2, a nurse that played with Dr. Barbie, a mathematician that enjoyed numbers, a designer that always liked to draw, a scientist that took apart her toys and dolls, a crafter who created and sold products to her childhood friends, and a chef who wanted an Easy-Bake oven as a young boy, Chris Hadfield extended his play to a career. How can we so trivialize children’s play when time and time again, we hear stories like these?

children's imaginative playA big empty box is an invitation to play. Children can let their imaginations take flight and transform the box into a space ship, boat, airplane, house, store, library, or wherever they want to go. Some like to leave the box plain, while others will color, glue, decorate, cut (with adult help, of course), paint, and furnish to their heart’s and imagination’s content. They will play by themselves or with others, either real or imaginary. Their thinking will be both outside and inside the box. The play will form brain connections and pathways as they problem solve, talk, move, and create.

Mankind did not reach Outer Space only because some scientists had questions. First, some children dreamed and played about it. They wondered and imagined. From play comes careers and exploration into Space. What kind of play adventure will your child have today?

Kindergarten Readiness, Imaginative Play, and Future Choices

Children’s imaginative play is more than fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness, and might be giving us glimpses of what kids will choose as adults. Last week, blog posts were inspired by some famous adults and what they played with as children. A mathematician played with numbers, a design engineer liked drawing, a crafter loved to create things, and a scientist played with her toys by taking them apart. A good question then, is what other kinds of play and toys are fun for kids and might reflect what grownups do?

importance of imaginative  playA favorite toy for children is often a medical kit. Kids of various ages love to pretend with the thermometer, the stethoscope, the toy needle, and real bandages. They will treat their dolls, stuffies, friends, and brothers and sisters. Oh, and their parents and caregivers. With kids, there are visits to the doctor and sometimes the hospital, so supporting this kind of play also helps them deal with real situations. This type of play is a way for kids to process their experiences and their emotions. They are trying out those roles and it seems like some of the time, they stick.

importance of imaginative playA friend of mine, Martha Sanchez, is a nurse. As a child, she played with dolls and the doctor Barbie. She was a guest on a Learn and Play with Mrs. A radio show to talk about young kids and health concerns. For a play-of-the-day, your child might enjoy some pretending and imagining with medical toys. A piece of stiff paper or a straw can substitute as a thermometer. Kids will come up with their own ideas of what they need and what they can use. These 3 straws make a stethoscope to “hear the baby’s breathing.” How is everyone feeling today?

Summer Fun and Learning Appeals to Imaginations

Each community will have special summer activities for kids; usually these combine fun and learning and will also help develop kindergarten readiness. Because we live in area that rains a lot, there are some lovely parks and gardens. Just recently, one of them offered a magical weekend with 30 fairy houses tucked in the trees … Continue reading Summer Fun and Learning Appeals to Imaginations

Playgrounds Exercise Imaginations Too

Playgrounds are not only fun spaces to play, they are great places for learning and kindergarten readiness too, exercising bodies, brains, and imaginations. In only a few minutes of watching kids playing on the playground, we can see how varied are the places they are imagining. Not all playgrounds have a pole for sliding down, … Continue reading Playgrounds Exercise Imaginations Too

Garden Magic with Stories and Art Activities

Gardens can grow much more learning, fun, and kindergarten readiness than science and connections to nature; they can also stimulate imaginations and art. Seeds get planted in gardens, but the magic seeds that Jack planted grew a beanstalk that reached to the sky. What might happen if other seeds were magic too? To stretch imaginations, … Continue reading Garden Magic with Stories and Art Activities

Kindergarten Readiness: Children and Pretend Play

“Let’s pretend” is an invitation to learning and fun that goes far beyond kindergarten readiness; it’s a complex and powerful tool for thinking and creativity. It’s also today’s play-of-the day that starts with a p because A pril starts with a p. Pretending and imagining do not end with childhood, that’s where they begin! Just … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness: Children and Pretend Play

Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – I = Instructions & Imagination

We all have 2 eyes, so for some letter “I” kindergarten readiness and early learning and fun, here are 2 plays-of-the-day: Instructions and Imagination. When kids go to preschool and kindergarten, and even around home too, instructions can be a challenge. My friend, Blythe Lipman, has 2 and almost 3 books about kids and instructions: … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – I = Instructions & Imagination

Kindergarten Readiness – Learning/Thinking Strategies #11

Instead of thinking about what adults can teach kids to help them with kindergarten readiness, I turned the question around and asked what can kids teach adults. I kept that perspective as I watched a little boy playing with some cars in the dirt and later a little girl building with wooden blocks. Each child … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Learning/Thinking Strategies #11