Some regions seem more spring than others, but an ordinary walk is an amazing chance to practice observing skills and extend basic science knowledge, adding to kindergarten readiness at the same time. Put on your shoes or boots, depending on the weather, and head outside. You and your child can put on your special noticing glasses and see what’s new.What are the trees doing? Is the grass coming up? Do you see any flowers? The weather is always a topic of conversation–is the day cloudy, rainy, sunny, windy? (Hopefully, it’s not snowing!) Just about everywhere will have some sort of seasonal change. How about the birds, check to see what they’re doing. Q. Why did the bird go to the hospital? A. It needed tweetment. Happy Spring! What’s your favorite season of the year?
Who remembers yesterday’s activity? The topic for this week is promoting the development of visual memory skills. Again, use a tray of about 10 small objects (more if your little one needs an increased challenge or fewer if this is not yet a strong skill for your child). These could be a lego block, toy car, pencil, elastic band, etc. Say the names with your child and discuss the items. Then, cover them with a towel and while your child closes his/her eyes take one away. Take off the towel and ask your child what one is missing. Put the object back, cover them again and this time you can hide your eyes while your child takes one away. Can you name the missing item? Because the number of items can be varied, it is adaptable to children of different ages and adults, too. This is another of those games that kids do better than I can. How about your house? Do the kids win or the adults?
While blogging about helping children learn some strategies to cope with waiting I remembered a Eugene Field poem that my grandmother used to recite to me about a toy dog and soldier that waited and waited for a little boy. Because the poem had a sad ending it was never my favorite. But I love remembering the sound of her voice and the memories of curling up with my grandmother and listening to poems and stories. I can both see and hear these times in my mind. For this week, I’d like to explore memory skills. The question-of-the-week will be: how can we help children develop visual and auditory memory skills?
Here is one activity to start. Find 10 different little objects and put them on a tray. Some possible items are a spoon, a spool, a bread tag, a button, a fridge magnet, a small plastic toy, etc. Point to them together and say their names. Cover them with a towel and ask your child to remember the items on the tray. How many of these things could your child remember? Now, you have a turn. Who remembered more, you or your little one? In this case, you had the advantage as this is Round 2. Do it again with some different objects. Try it with some other family members or friends. These activities count double, both visual memories and memories of fun together. 1, 2, 3…remembering.