Valentine’s Day is just over, but blogs this month are about interacting with people. Social and emotional development is a key part of kindergarten readiness. There’s all kinds of social learnings that happen for little ones. One of the very first social skills for kids is being able to share. Sharing isn’t easy for little ones and, both at home and at school, we hear lots of “that’s mine!” After all, they may not understand that sharing is only for a little while, not forever. Sometimes it doesn’t seem very equal. But like other skills sharing becomes easier with practice, (given that the situation is reasonable and fair).
Here’s an idea for practicing sharing. Using 1 set of crayons or paints, and a big piece of paper, draw or paint 1 picture. I’ve done this with markers and a small group of young children at a table with a table-sized piece of paper and after a minute or two, we all switched to the next chair so we could draw on a different part of the paper. By the time we’ve switched chairs 3 or 4 times our picture is pretty wild but the sharing has been great fun and the crayons zoom all around. What are some ways that you can think of to encourage sharing with young children?
On my way to work yesterday, I caught part of a radio interview with astronauts Robert Thirsk and Frank de Winne. They were talking about their previous mission on the Space Shuttle Atlantis just before its scheduled lift off. The interviewer asked about 6 people living in a confined space for 6 months. Robert Thirsk advised that being respectful of each other and communicating were key to their relationships and to the success of the mission. I couldn’t help but say outloud “All I needed to know I learned in kindergarten.” It’s not so much that these skills are learned in kindergarten but, perhaps, that this is the first time there is a teaching plan, written objectives and lesson activities for learning these social skills and strategies. And what is learned in kindergarten voyages all the way to outer space–and back! We’ll continue exploring some activities that you can do at home to promote social and emotional development. What else can we learn from Atlantis?
Once children have the idea of taking turns, it may be necessary to talk about letting others have the first turn, too. This book is also a story about a pig (see yesterday’s blog) that has a lesson to learn. The lesson ‘teacher’ is a sand witch. The author is Helen Lester and the title is Me First.
The pig in this story always has to be first and on a field trip to the beach is the first to respond to a voice asking “Who would care for a sandwich?” The sandwich turns out not to be something to eat but a demanding sand witch with lots of work that needs doing and who makes the pig care for her. All this trouble because he had to be first. A fun little story that teaches as it entertains, it helps children learn that sometimes turns are not enough, that it is sometimes better to be last rather than first. Does your family have a taking turns story suggestion?
This is Blog #4 about sharing. Sharing is one of the first social skills that children learn. Both songs and books can promote learning to share. Just like a coin, sharing has two sides. Children need to learn how to share with others and they need to learn how to ask others to share with them. … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Share 1 2 3 & 4
Lessons on sharing can also come from books. The two previous posts have discussed helping kids learn to share . “Being told how” lessons are easy to forget. Stories add a dimension of “being part of the action” that is easier to remember. Here’s just a few suggestions. There are many, many children’s books on … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Once Upon a Share
This week, as prompted by a recent Michele Borba presentation, our topic is the social skill of sharing. Like any other skill it becomes easier with practice, (given that the situation is fair and reasonable). Children respond to songs better than nagging, so here is a way to remind kids and teach them sharing strategies. … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Music for Sharing
Last week, I had the opportunity to hear Michele Borba at a Parents’ Night Out. Her powerful presentation on Moral Intelligence reminded me that social and emotional skills are an important part of readiness, too. One of the skills that helps children at school is the ability to share. At school there is 1 teacher … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – May & Michele Borba