Free Local Activities…
Did you know you can get FREE Museum Passes (for up to 4 people) from the Lancaster County Public Libraries? You will need a library card to check out the passes. The following museums are included (check the location nearest you for availability)…
WITF holds FREE events with various PBS characters (Clifford, Curious George, Daniel Tiger, Arthur, etc.) to promote learning and family togetherness. The events are called Ready, Set, Explore and are held at various locations (Ephrata Library, Turkey Hill Experience, The North Museum, York County Heritage Trust Museum, etc.). Check out their website to find out more information and/or to register for an event…http://www.witf.org/ready-set-explore/.
Apps for Google/iTunes…
…for letter identification and matching
Match the Letter…Free
Memory Learning Game – Letters…Free
Kids Tracing Letters Lite…Free
Word Recognition – 1.99 (There are different levels for this, start with the original, and then move up.)
ABC – Magnetic Alphabet Lite for Kids…Free
…for sight words
Kids Sight Words Lite…Free
Abby Sight Words Games and Flash Cards…Free
My Sight Words…Free
Sight Words List – Learn to Read Flash Cards & Games …Free
Sight Words: Kids Learn…Free
Sight Words by Little Speller…Free
Eggy 100 HD…Free
…for rhyming words
Fine Motor Coordination
Children need to have strength and dexterity in their hands and fingers before being asked to manipulate a pencil or paper. The following activities involve the use of manipulatives which will help build strength and dexterity for future writing skills.
- Pick up small objects such as coins, beans, marbles, seeds, buttons, nuts and bolts. Sort them into containers of different sizes.
Fun With the Alphabet
Alphabetic knowledge and phonemic awareness are two of the stongest predictors for reading success for young children. It is important that your child become proficient with the the letters of the alphabet as well as the sounds that each of the letters make.
Below is a collection of activities that you can do with your child to help him/her learn the alphabet:
- Create an alphabet collage! Cut 3 Bb’s out of a newspaper or a magazine and paste them on a large piece of construction paper. Then find 3 of another letter another day. See if you can cut out and do the whole alphabet.
- Give your child a highlighter and a magazine or newspaper. Have them look for a focus letter and highlight them as they find them.
- Say the alphabet clapping every second letter instead of saying it.
- Say the Alphabet Chant. Use an ABC chart and have your child say the letter, the picture name and the sound for the letter (e.g. Aa-apple-ah)
- Sing the alphabet song. Stop occasionally and have your childcontinue where you left off.
- While driving try to locate each letter of the alphabet on road signs and billboard
- Use index cards to make a set of alphabet cards. . Make one for the lower case letters and one for the capital letter. Play a matching game to pair the lower case letter with it partner upper case letter. The person who gets a match must say the sound of the letter in order to keep the pair. (Instead of saying the sound for the letter the person could say a word that begins with the sound for the letter.)
Pre-Reading & Pre-Writing
Here are some activities to help emergent reading and writing
Ready or Not?
If only we could look into a crystal ball and see a year from now parenting would be so much easier. When faced with the decision of whether to send their child to kindergarten or to wait a year parents often ask my opinion. I have spoken about this issue so often I thought it was time to put my thoughts in writing.
I consider myself a ‘developmentalist.’ I like to look at the developmental readiness of the children entering kindergarten.
A child who is developmentally ready has acquired the broad range of social skills, cognitive skills, pre-academic skills, independent skills, language skills, motor skills, and problem-solving skills needed to be an effective kindergarten learner.
When I look at a child’s readiness for kindergarten I am interested in the following characteristics: group participation, independence, and initiative.
Group participation includes sharing, cooperation, waiting for turns, transitions, following two-step directions, working on an assigned task for twenty minutes and accepting feedback. Independence includes handling separation from parents, keeping track of one’s own possessions, following routines without guidance, getting home from the bus stop and knowing how to get help if they are lost (address, phone number). Initiative includes self-direction in problem-solving and asking questions, willingness to try new challenges, and a sense of curiosity.
While the above criteria helps some, many people would like a more specific skill checklist. Recently I googled Kindergarten Readiness. I found 293000 entries! I copied the one below as it seems to target all the skills I feel are important.
· Listen to stories without interrupting
· Recognize rhyming sounds
· Pay attention for short periods of time to adult-directed tasks
· Understand actions have both causes and effects
· Show understanding of general times of day
· Cut with scissors
· Trace basic shapes
· Begin to share with others
· Start to follows rules
· Be able to recognize authority
· Manage bathroom needs
· Button shirts, pants, coats, and zip up zippers
· Begin to control oneself
· Separate from parents without being upset
· Speak understandably
· Talk in complete sentences of five to six words
· Look at pictures and then tell stories
· Identify some rhyming words
· Identify the beginning sound of some words
· Identify some alphabet letters
· Recognize some common sight words like “stop”
· Sort similar objects by color, size, and shape
· Recognize groups of one, two, three, four, and five objects
· Count to ten
· Bounce a ball
It is important to remember that young children change so fast — if they can’t do something this week, they may be able to do it a few weeks later. Many things that you see your child having difficulty with in January of preschool may take root in March.
The decision is yours and has to be one which you intuitively feel good about. Hopefully this helps.