Besides being the day when winter might be over, Groundhog Day also means something that happens over and over and kindergarten readiness is like that. As parents and caregivers we need to do many of the same things over and over with children do help them learn. What are some of the things that need lots of repetition?
- using lots and lots of words in songs, rhymes, conversations, and stories to support language development.
- reading and sharing books with kids. A few books, several times a week, adds up to over a thousand a year. That’s a lot of groundhogs.
- play time. This is one of the best tools for helping children learn and develop.
- like groundhogs, kids need to spend time in nature to develop this important connection.
- some physical activity time. Moving is critical for healthy bodies and brains because all kinds of learning pathways are developed thru movement.
These are great activities for any day of the year. How many of these activities can you and your child do for Groundhog Day?
Kids communicate to us about what they need to learn for kindergarten readiness and beyond. Are we getting their messages? This little one is a perfect example: Kids need balance.
Kids need balance in lots of different ways. They need to learn how to balance their bodies in a variety of spaces. Their days require a balance of physical and mental stimulation, busy times and quiet times, inside the house and out in nature. Play and fun activities will color their days but it’s important that they help with work ones too like picking up their toys and putting their dirty clothes in the hamper. Hopping to the hamper like a bunny and tidying up toys like a wind-up toy that needs a tickly winding up add a few giggles to the chores. We all know that whatever kids will eat needs to be balanced for good nutrition –and can include occasional treats.
Learning to balance and regulate their emotions is a big learning challenge for kids. Another way we provide balance for them is encouraging them to do things independently, especially as they cope with being in group settings such as preschools and daycares. Time together and time by themselves is also a consideration. As you and your child experience this day, are there some activities that will support and encourage the learning and thinking skill of balance?
I saw this great sign on a blog called “preschool daze”. Kristin had taken the sign Caution Children At Play and changed it to Celebrate Children At Play. It must be something in the air because my post yesterday was all about learning kindergarten readiness social skills by celebrating with others. The idea of today’s post is also from the sign: play.
We’ve all heard that children learn thru play. Play is discovery, exploring and imagining. Store-bought toys are not needed for play. At our house, when kids played more with the packaging than the toy we used to joke about the Fisher-Price box. In this photo, a variety of containers that were in the recycling bin became dishes and were used to play ‘restaurant.’ They were also used for language, vocabulary, organizing, and imagining and other skills. Play promoted all kinds of learning. To help your child with readiness for kindergarten– play!
Isn’t it wonderful to have play for homework?
While adults celebrate New Year’s Eve on December 31st, for families with kids starting and returning to school it’s the last night of summer holidays. September 1st, plus or minus a few days, begins the new school season leaving August 31st as the new eve. If your first child is off to school this year, … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – New School Year’s Eve
H is for patterns? H is for house and this month all the blog posts talk about how your house is a learning center for all kinds of kindergarten readiness learning. Patterning is today’s readiness for kindergarten skill. Patterning is a basic skill that comes up in language, math, music, and more. Kids need lots of experiences … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – H is for Patterns
First comes all kinds of learning at home, then comes school. For kids, learning doesn’t wait until they start kindergarten. Just think of all the things parents and caregivers have helped children to learn before starting school, including language, early self-care, basic emotions and social skills, and more. For the month of August, all my blog posts have … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – 1st Home, then School
When it comes to success after graduating from school, do you think it is more advantageous for your child to be smart or to be polite? While I have oversimplified the question, new research is showing that social skills have a greater influence on income than academic achievement. (Institute for Social Research) And, the early … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Lessons in the Kitchen #3
Did you know that the kitchen doubles as a learning center when it comes to readiness for kindergarten? There’s so much that parents and caregivers can teach even if they are busy cooking, doing dishes, or just putting away the groceries. And little ones can help with these tasks learning valuable skills for kindergarten readiness … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Lessons in the Kitchen #2
An article written by Tina Barseghian in an on-line publication called Mind Shift caught my attention today. Tina wrote: Rules are important in any civilized society. Without them, chaos would ensue. Now, the rest of the article discussed teachers, students and on-line policies so it hardly applies to kindergarten readiness. But, the first 2 lines … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Lessons in the Kitchen
Yesterday, I heard a radio interview with Joel Bakan about his new book Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children. He exposes the detrimental effects of this corporate marketing. One of his warnings in particular struck a chord with me, that of the destruction of children’s imagination. Imagining is not just play; it is a fundamental thinking … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness, Special Ingredient = Imagination