The Nadel family- Enjoy reading our everyday adventures!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Preparing for Kindergarten

My sweet baby Mallory...
My 4 1/2 year-old is going to begin kindergarten this fall... how can that be?! Wasn't she just a baby?! It seems like she has grown so quickly... She is quite excited to be "in school" with the big kids in just a few short weeks. (sniff, sniff...) Oh wait, I'm not sniffing, she still gets to be home with me, to homeschool! Hooray! For those of you who do have a young'un going off to school for the first time this fall, I thought you might like a few things you can do to "get them ready!"

I student- taught in a kindergarten classroom in a local school here in town, and observed in that same classroom for the whole school year. I loved it! The kids were still sweet & innocent and they loved learning! I also taught in a local preschool for one year before my daughter was born, and enjoyed that a lot too. Maybe someday I'll go back to working in a classroom, but for now I have a classroom in my own home!

My silly girl with her cousin recently...
I also heard a gal give tips at our MOPS group several years ago. She was a kindergarten teacher and a former MOPS mom, and gave some great ideas. Here are some of her ideas:

*Shapes and Colors Recognition- "I spy a square..." Good to teach proper names of shapes, such as "isosceles triangle" too. It is good reading preparation, because the letter A looks like a triangle, and so on...     Games to help this--”Oh Rats!”, “Playful Patterns” (Discovery Toys)
*Letter of the Week--can do activities in cooking, such as F for Flowers--cook cauliflower and broccoli, etc., Book for ideas- Kinder Krunchies  Also look in the cereal aisle at the grocery store at all the letters, "Find a c...Captain Crunch!" Another good activity is painting with water on the sidewalk, (it disappears!) or sidewalk chalk. You can also have them make letters in shaving cream on the table, or in a sandbox.
*Writing (letters and first name)--Use lined paper 2" apart or smaller. Teach upper and lower case in their names. Help them to use the pincher grasp when they write. It is ok to teach their last name too. Playdoh (even homemade) is good to develop small motor skills in their hands. They have little things to put on pencils to help them grasp them, they are ok but not necessary...
*Cutting and coloring--Try to get them to color in the lines, they need to practice. Cutting coupons is a good activity for practicing straight lines. You can draw a circle on a piece of paper and try to have them cut it out (other shapes too). Put the scissors up when they're done--have a box or place for them.
*Read stories--(rhyme and repetition) Have a daily time and place to read together, or several times a day. Use the library as a resource for more books. STOP and take the time to read to them, it is so important! It teaches sitting skills, listening and increases their attention span. Good books for rhyme and repetition are...Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?; There was an old lady who swallowed a fly; Green Eggs and Ham.
*Library--have story times, keep books from library separated in a canvas bag or special spot, can use Barnes and Noble too. They like if you can donate old books to them...
*Sorting--teaches problem solving. Can have them help you sort laundry, or silverware. She likes manipulatives like bugs to sort--colors, types, # legs, etc., You can have them do patterns with sorted items (like m&ms)-green, then yellow, green, then? -- Egg cartons are good for sorting items. (Change $ is good to sort too)  “Busy Bugs” game--Disc Toys
*Counting to 100--a good place to practice is the car. You can also count stairs, anything in your house. 
*Body parts--helps them learn details, and make their portraits more descriptive...
*Games/ Puzzles--Teaches spatial relationships, and taking turns
Other ideas: can do shaving cream in a bag with food colors, have them mix it up...
Cookie cutters are great to learn letters- can get a BIG set with shapes too at Wal-Mart for $20 or so. You can weigh rocks and measure sticks when playing outside. Teach them their parents' names, phone #, address for safety reasons. The ABC song is not always really good because they mix LMNOP all together. So it is a good idea to teach them another version or sing it backwards! (I actually can sing it backwards, I learned that in teaching kindergarten!)

I have done a lot of this with my kids, and maybe you do too. Hopefully you got a good idea or two to try with your kiddo before school begins! I may get out the shaving cream and put some in a bag soon-- sounds like fun! She talked about Discovery Toys games a lot, which I don't have, but they are great products!

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
And before school begins, you might want to read this book, it is a favorite, and might make you tear up... sorry in advance for any tears I caused... :-D

1 comment:

  1. In the blink of a eye, our babies are big! :)


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