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Monday, January 31, 2011

Mondays with Mrs. Sparkles: Creative Ideas for your Kindergartener

How can parents help bridge the gap between play and other creative endeavors
 at home to the environment of learning of Kindergarten?

With a daughter who will turn 5 this spring, conversations lead back to hopes for entering Kindergarten this fall. She is so excited. She doesn’t quite no what to expect. Right now, I think her concept of Kindergarten is a place where girls and boys meet in a garden to learn to read and play games. I expect that this concept is pretty common.

At home, I have been searching for subtle creative ways to prepare her for her journey towards literacy and life long learning. Of course, my daughter is learning everyday. She is a sponge like all kids. We read together. Through preschool, dance class and requiring her to dress herself and complete chores I am fostering her independence. I am teaching her to listen and follow directions. Still, I wonder, what else can I do to help her get ready for kindergarten and school? How can I send her to school with a healthy sense of self and creative fuel?

Here are some ideas that we are exploring in our household:

Story Journals: Children love telling stories and making up rhymes about their favorite things. Use a spiral bound notebook to help your preschooler write and illustrate some of their favorite stories. You know the ones I am talking about, the one about the monster under the bed or that movie character that they are into.

Illustration Files: Encourage your child to collect images of things they really love and places they have been. Collections of images can be used for countless projects in the future – collages, drawings, and creative stories. You can also use the images to reinforce memories and build vocabulary.

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