Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve so here is one last Christmas kindergarten readiness activity for this year.
Ask your child to draw a holiday picture. When the picture is ready, have your child tell you one thing abut the picture. Print that out and then read it by pointing to each word. Encourage your child to try reading it with you. You can also ask if s/he knows any of the letters as you point to them, or name a letter and ask your child to find it. Count how many words you wrote. Are there more words or more letters? Words are made of letters, but there are more letters than words. This is the kind of interaction that will grow a good reader later on. Save the picture in the memory book that we worked on in November. For younger kidlets, find a picture of something that happened over the holidays and show it to your child. Ask what is happening and talk about it. If you can, write that down.
The process of writing down information helps for kindergarten readiness. Your child learns that the squiggles hold meaning. This is a critical concept and comes from lots of different experiences and exposure. This picture was colored more than 20 years ago by my son. I love the stockings hanging on the chimney part and the floating rocking chair . I slipped it in a plastic page sleeve and packed it with the Christmas decorations. Holidays are for memories. What ones will you tuck away this year?
I’ll start today’s blog with a quick confession. I love mystery stories and avoid being bookless. Bookless does not mean I haven’t quite a collection, just that I don’t have one to read next. One that I really enjoyed was Memory Book by Howard Engel. A detective suffers a brain injury and significant memory loss. He can remember how to write but not how to read. His effort to regain his memory and the mystery are interwoven. The author Howard Engel did have a stroke that affected his memory and the book reflects some of his own experiences. It is fascinating reading.
The study and investigation of memory are also fascinating topics. Earlier this week I suggested ways to promote auditory (hearing) and visual (seeing) memory. But those are only 2 of the 5 senses. There is another kind of memory called Kinesthetic Memory, which is the recollection of our body in space and responses to movement and reistance. I don’t know if the finger tap game that I used to play with my children is kinesthetic or touch memory but I do know that it worked to keep a child quiet and calm for a few brief minutes when it was important not to talk. Here’s how it works:
Have your child place his/her hand on a flat surface with the palm down. Tap on one or two of the fingers 2, 3 or more times. Then, your child taps on those same fingers on your hand. I know some of this is patterning but I wondered if it also is a touch memory skill. In any case, it seemed to calm the kids and focus their attention. Now, some days the only way I can remember phone numbers or codes is by the particular pattern of touching. Although, one particulary hectic morning I caught myself trying to enter my bank code on the microwave pad. What are your memory tricks?