Yum, yum. My favorite shape is a cookie. I’ve heard that Santa likes them, too. Will you be making cookies for Christmas Eve? What shapes are they?
Every day there are dozens of opportunities to help children get ready for kindergarten, no matter their age and how long before they start school. This is another example of how parents and others can help with kindergarten readiness. It only takes seconds to notice if the cookies for Santa are circles, squares, rectangles or triangles. But children need lots of learning practice in lots of different ways. This opportunity is natural and exciting. Did it take time and effort on your part? Not at all. Was it boring for your munchkin? Nope, again. Instead, quite engaging . It focused your child’s attention on a detail. It reinforced some specific vocabulary and language. Extend the learning by counting the cookies. Talk about favorites. Think of what kind might be Santa’s favorite. Sometimes learning is followed by a test. How about a taste test?
What shape should we get in? The different meanings for the word shape and the play on words is a great reminder that kids (and adults) need to play. For some playtime today, exercise the body in different shapes: make circles with different parts of the body, bend arms and legs like triangles, stand and stretch into a long rectangle shape. Squares can be more difficult to make with just one person but here is a fun way for 2 people. Each person puts the left arm out straight and bends the right arm over to hold just above the elbow. Now, turning to face each other, with the left hand hold on to the other person’s bent right arm. In the middle there is a square shape. This is sometimes called making a lift or a chair–an arm chair (tee-hee).
Adults and children learn in all different ways but we usually prefer one ‘channel’ more than the others. Some children are visual learners and learn best by seeing. They may have trouble with spoken directions and enjoy looking at the pictures in books more than the story. Others are auditory learners and enjoy talking and telling stories. Kinesthetic learners are hands-on and learn best by touching. Knowing the names of basic shapes is general knowledge for kindergarten readiness. Some children learn the names easily (auditory) but can’t always match the name and shape, some know the shapes (visual) but need lots of practice remembering the names. Making the shapes with the body helps all kids, most especially the action learners. Getting in shape is exercises for bodies and brains. What shape are you? (Tomorrow, we’ll eat some shapes.)
After April Showers, the rain leaves great puddles. Yes, puddles can be another learning opportunity–but stay out of the road so you don’t become part of one! Next time it rains, go for a walk and check out all the different shapes. Are puddles round or square? Maybe, their shapes look like something else: a bunny shaped puddle, or a tree or car or dragon. What colors do you see in the puddles? Are there any reflections? Some days, it’s hard to enjoy the rain, but puddles can make a grey day bright with interest.