The series of blogs this month look at ways that parents and caregivers can help little ones learn about numbers. While kindergarten readiness hopes that children can count accurately, at least 1-10, there is another side to the coin: knowing what number goes with how much. Even wee toddlers give High 5’s and can hold up one hand and show 5 fingers but not all kids can count out 5 cars or 5 spoons, etc. This requires lots of practice. And the best way to practice? Play.
Here are some play ideas for exploring the number 5. If your child likes little stuffies, take a quick break from your work and together check if there are 5 stuffies just like 5 fingers. On your next pass by, see if there are 5 cars. Is there a car for each stuffie? Wow, 5 and another 5. For kids that are ready for more challenge, you may want to show how 4 cars and 1 truck can make 5, or 2 yellow blocks and 3 red blocks stack up to make a tower of 5 blocks. Do 5 jumping jacks, put away 5 things, color a picture with 5 colors. Sing about 5: 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed or 5 Little Speckled Frogs Sat on A Speckled Log. (5 raisins on a celery stick kind of look like bugs.) There’s lots of stories about 5, too. Take 5 for learning and play; it adds up to a whole lot of readiness for kindergarten. High 5 anyone?
Q. Why is doing math dangerous in the jungle?
A. Because when you add 4 and 4 you get ate!
Instead of exploring the jungle, let’s explore 4. Playing is a form of exploring, so how can we play with 4? With your child, think of some ways to make 4; count 4 shoes, 4 boats, 4 animals, 4 fingers–the other is a thumb–4 stuffies, 4 books, etc. Pick up 4 things on the foor, er I mean floor. Are there things in the kitchen with 4? Yes, chairs have 4 legs. The window has 4 sides. How about the rest of the house? Beds have 4 legs, doors have 4 sides. Wow. Lots of things to notice. Do 4 chores, then 4 fun things. Work for 4 minutes, then take a break. A bus has 4 wheels so sing The Wheels On The Bus. Draw a picture with 4 colors. So many 4s.
Using numbers in ordinary, everyday ways helps children develop their number sense and also helps them with kindergarten readiness. Time to explore and play with numbers can fit in with the things you are already doing at home or in a care center; readiness for kindergarten does not mean another item on the to-do list. 4 sure, kids remember best if an activity is fun. Are some of these suggestions fun 4 your family?
1,2,3…Go! While many children can say the number 3, they also need to attach the number to the concept of 3. Linking a number word to a mental image of how many is an important skill for later learning. Because it is so important it is part of both kindergarten readiness and many kindergarten lessons/projects/activities. Today’s readiness for kindergarten is exploring 3.
To help children develop a visual image of 3, together make groups of 3 things using lots of different objects: 3 blocks, 3 cars, 3 stuffies, 3 action figures, 3 legos, etc. Triangles have 3 sides. Look for some together while taking a walk or riding the bus. Setting the table is a 3 activity: knife, fork and spoon = 3. Put away 3 toys, read 3 books, eat 3 things, do 3 actions–hop, skip, jump. Take 3 giant steps, 3 baby ones, 3 medium ones. Listen to The Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, or do all 3! Sing 3 Little Kittens Lost Their Mittens. Lights, Camera, Action…!
This month blog posts target the numbe part of kindergarten readiness. The best way to help your kidlets with math readiness for kindergarten is to play and explore with numbers and use them in all kinds of ways. What are some ways that you and your child can make 2? 2 blocks, 2 stories, 2 cars, 2 hands, … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Math is Fun, 2
A key concept in math for kids is a kind of ‘oneness’, which is basically that each object gets one number. When kids are learning to count they may point to an object and say a whole string of numbers before going to the next object or they may miss a bunch of objects and … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Math Fun One
Last month’s blog was centered on using fairy tales as a tool to promote learning and kindergarten readiness. It’s time to balance that with another kind of literacy, math literacy. Playing and experimenting with numbers in all kinds of natural and fun activities helps children with readiness for kindergarten. While language is mainly a verbal … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Math Activities
Wow, I got so excited when I saw this article and photo!! This sculpture has 25,000 books all by Dr. Seuss. The home of this message is the New York Public Library in aid of the Read Across America campaign. Having just gotten back from a Spring Break holiday across the equator, I discovered that … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Dr. Seuss Says Read
Writing that today can help kids and families with readiness for kindergarten isn’t an April Fool’s joke. There are tons of ways and I’ll show you a few. Today is devoted to humor. A sense of humor is actually a complicated series of thinking skills–recognizing intention, realizing something is irregular and understanding symbolism–and corresponding emotional responses. … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – April Fool’s Fun For Kids
No, this isn’t the 99th activity for auditory memory enhancement and it’s not a typo. It’s a humorous way to introduce today’s blog topic–how to do a super quick check of your child’s auditory memory. Auditory memory is a fundamental skill for learning. And for relationships. Just think of how frustrating it is when a friend … Continue reading Auditory Memory Activity #1