vacation activities

Kindergarten Readiness – Collections

Parents’ trash can be kids’ treasure. Children can make a treasure out of almost anything, but whatever it is can be the start of a collection. And collecting is another way to build readiness skills. The most obvious one is categorizing: to what group do all these things belong? Another is sorting, for instance, these are all the red ones, or big ones, or the soft ones. There’s vocabulary and talking about the collection, organizing skills, memory, planning for how to add to the collection, and caring for it. A child may have to choose what to add to the collection and what to leave out. There’s all kinds of thinking that comes into play when collecting. Play, of course, is the significant word. The collection and collecting need to be enjoyable.

What are some possible collections? Rocks, seashells, sports cards and coins are quite common, but there’s also buttons, round things, postcards, toys, stuffies, shiny things, marbles, caps, hats, signatures, feathers, dragons, the possibilites are endless. One year a kindergarten student showed his collection of pieces of driftwood shaped like navy ships. Just imagine all the knowledge that had to be acquired beforehand for that collection. A grandmother helped her granddaughter with a flower collection; what wonderful connections and memories for both of them. Collections can be a variety of items all from one place or from another culture. The collecting can continue for only a short time or for years, eventually get discarded with the trash or become very valuable. The learning and the fun are worth even more. What collections do you have?

Kindergarten Readiness – Hoop it Up

The headline in the paper said “The Hoop Is Back”. The reporter interviewed Sadie Yancey from Virginia and Toronto and she talked about the increasing popularity of hula hoops and their health benefits combined with fun. A hula hoop is a great idea for kids. Learning to hula with one can be tricky but kids can also roll it or skip with it. As a prop to encourage imaginative play the hoop can be the steering wheel of a car, bus, truck, or boat, or a flying carpet that travels to anywhere in the galaxy. Younger kids enjoy putting a hoop on the ground and  just jumping in and out. The play value of a hoop far exceeds its inexpensive cost.  There are scores of videos now on hooping. So, today’s call to action is: Hoop it up!

(For adults, Ms. Yancey, who has a master’s degree in biomedical physics,  said a heavier hoop is much easier to use. Any other suggestions for those of us who are not great hoopers?)

Kindergarten Readiness – Card Game Fun

A deck of cards is a super easy item to pack for vacation. Card games can be played just about anywhere, even in a tent when waiting for the rain to stop. Go Fish is one of my favorites. There are all kinds of decks, too, numbers, fish, people, animals, etc. Here is a sample deck that’s all A,B, C’s. On long, rainy days at home, find some paper, magazines and make your own cards. Or a quick Internet search turns up some printable Go Fish cards that can be colored or even painted. Lots of social skills are practiced in the context of a card game. Taking turns, asking, sharing, being a good sport, how to both win and lose, handling disappointment, and self-regulation of emotions are only a few. Oh, and how to have fun, too!  Go Fish -do you have an idea for vacation fun?

Kindergarten Readiness – Clipboard Math

Vacations often have little spaces of time to fill, especially when travelling. Whether it’s by bus or car, kids sometimes need something else to do. Years ago, I picked up a plastic covered clipboard at the dollar store with just a small paper holder. Though it was inexpensive it has been really valuable. One little activity was to draw … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Clipboard Math

Kindergarten Readiness – Pack Imagination on Vacation

The news today announced the death of Hiram Brown, a radio drama legend. He called radio ” the theater of the mind” and talked about ” the magic is the imagination”. One of the most powerful tools that kids have is their imagination. Today, reflecting on his insights, here are some ways to use children’s … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Pack Imagination on Vacation

Kindergarten Readiness – Pack a Book

This month the blog topic is readiness ideas for vacation. Does your child have a special interest in a particular topic? Dinosaurs, cars, trucks, trains, boats, farm animals, different countries, fish, whales, knights, castles, ballerinas, cats, dogs, bugs, and more are some of the more common ones but I’m always amazed at the variety and scope … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Pack a Book

Kindergarten Readiness – Vacation Numbers

Pardon the pun, but practicing numbers on a vacation just adds to the fun. No matter the age of your little ones, just pointing out all the places where there are numbers helps kids learn how important numbers are. Road numbers, prices on signs, hotel room doors, addresses, elevators, clocks, money and menus are just a few … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Vacation Numbers

Kindergarten Readiness – Vacation List

Before heading off on the the family holiday, there are some super fun aspects just in the planning. Activity #1, counting down the days, incorporated math skills. #2, looking at photos and reading about where you are going links meaning and print. #3 tip is making a list. Talking about what you might need and … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Vacation List