Part of kindergarten readiness includes supporting different ways of learning. Do you, even as a grown-up, find learning some things easy and some very hard? That happens for children, not just adults. In a way, brains have personalities and different ways that they learn. Learning styles are individual preferences and ways to learn that are stronger than others. There are 3 basic learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
Generally, children that are strong visual learners like pictures and images. They enjoy and are good at puzzles. They build and create with construction toys like blocks or lego. Drawing may be a favorite activity as well and something that they do earlier than other children. We may notice a child who watches others carefully; this is often a clue to a visual learning style. Kids with strong visual styles may not remember the words to songs, even if they have heard them over and over. They might be reluctant to play silly word games. And they have more of a challenge to remember what they have been asked to do.
Support for this type of learner is both encouraging the activities that your child is good at and including activities that are more challenging. Telling stories, using different voices to say things and singing songs will help strengthen auditory learning skills and help your child expand different ways to learn. Brain development will promote kindergarten readiness. Do you think your child has a visual learning style?
This is the best excuse for taking lots of videos of kids–to help both their memory skills and readiness for kindergarten. Memory, like other thinking skills, is something that develops as kids grow and develop. Memory grows by using it. This is where a video, either camera or phone, can help.
Take short videos of your child, maybe at the park, playground, building with blocks, coloring, a playdate with a friend, visiting at someone’s house, or going to the zoo. When there’s an appropriate quiet time, have your child watch that video and talk about it together. What is happening, where is it, who are the other people there, etc. Does your child remember that event or activity? What else does your child remember about it that is not on the video? Not only does this challenge the remembering skills it helps with visualizing. After all, when we visualize something we are creating our own movies in our minds. Visualizing is an important skill for kindergarten readiness and learning to read.
As a bonus, short videos of fun times can be shown to your little ones when you have to wait somewhere and keep them on a chair or lap. They work in airports, the dentist’s office and waiting for your order at a restaurant! Do you have one to share?
This week one of the grocery stores had a 2 for 1 sale flyer. In less than 2 minutes I made sure it was quite useless for anyone else in the family to read because I cut it up. I made a Matching Pairs game to use for a kindergarten readiness memory activity.
Did you ever play the card game called Concentration or Memory where you have to turn over the cards and match up pairs? Even quite young children beat me at that game and I’m convinced there’s a great deal of luck involved, not just memory. These days there’s on-line and I-pad versions with lots of different objects for kids, but this picture shows a low-tech one that has the advantage of low-cost, too. It’s still fun to play, especially when the kids beat the grown-ups. (I have the 1 lone matching pair, a 3-year old has the other 3 and that was just my turn that didn’t match. Sigh.)
If you haven’t played, the idea is to use pairs of cards that are the same and place them face down in a group. Each person takes a turn to flip over 2 cards. If the cards do not match they get flipped back upside down. If the cards do show the matching pair, that person takes the cards away (counting 1 point) and the next person has a turn. 3 or 4 picture-pairs are good to start with; 5 or 6 pairs add more challenge. After all the pairs are matched, turn the cards over, mix them all up and play again.
Besides being a great way to exercise visual memory, kids also practice some social skills such as taking turns and following simple rules. There’s counting and lots of language involved, too. These are all important for readiness for kindergarten development. Two kids can play together or even one child alone can find the pairs. Who gets more in your house?
The letter V could be for visual skills or verbal, but we’ve done lots of verbal activities. At the beginning of the month of August, we started with A for auditory discrimination and memory. While visual discrimination and memory are the same idea, some children have much stronger visual skills than auditory ones. We all seem … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – V=Visual Skills→
Visual memory is another one of those skills that’s important for reading and writing. And visual memory is based on visualizing, seeing something in your mind’s eye. To help your child visualize use lots of words. I know that seems contradictory. After all, to help someone with visual skills it makes sense to use visual … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Visual Memory #3→