Whether your child is weeks old or moving their way through Kindergarten, you’ve likely heard the term “kindergarten ready” (especially if you’ve been researching daycares!). As teachers, we’ve even heard this term, but I’ve never really understood what it really meant until having my own children. Kindergarten ready does NOT mean being able to read, write and count. In fact, if you’re based in Ontario with us, you’ll know that Kindergarten is largely focused on a play-based learning model.
Children learn through play and natural curiosities, so instead of stressing when your child reaches the end of pre-school and they haven’t mastered all the academic skills you feel is needed for school, take a deep breath, exhale and reflect on all the great things your child CAN independently and what they might still need some support in so they feel ready.
So What IS Kindergarten Readiness?
Instead of focusing on the academics, let’s shift back to the idea that Kindergarten and Early Childhood Education should be about learning life skills, developing social skills and cognitive thinking skills. Okay, okay, plain speak - think things along the lines of:
We might also consider sharing or turn taking - but again, this is a skill we expect students to master and understand at very early stages, when in reality, it is a skill that is developmentally appropriate to have mastered during the early primary grades. In fact, collaboration is a major learning skill that is focused on all throughout elementary school. And in all seriousness, your little babe likely does a better job of sharing in school then sharing their own prized possessions in their own personal spaces.
In the end, what Kindergarten teachers everywhere want you to know, is that it’s okay if they don’t know their ABC’s or 123’s. They will have plenty of time to learn all the academics they will need in their next years and years of education. Right now what they need is to begin to feel confident in who they are as independent little people. So go on, take that deep breath and reflect on all the amazing things your little babe is capable of already, and give yourself a silent pat on the back because you are the big reason they have learned, laughed and loved in these few short moments on earth.
It’s a new month, so why not start a reading challenge with your little babe(s)?
Click to download it here or Screen shot it for the future! If your little is old enough, hang it somewhere or keep it within reach so that each time you read something, you can cross it off your list together. Our littles love stickers, so we grabbed a few of our favourite stickers (re: elsa and ana & paw patrol) and we cover the square with the sticker du jour!
Why do a reading challenge? Well, it encourages a wide reading of different types of stories. It can help you see what types of books you have a lot of and what types of books you might be missing on your shelves. It will also create time and connection with your little and act as a spring board to some quiet downtime in what is otherwise a busy end of summer month. And really, you don’t need to make it a challenge at all. Use it as a checklist or as a guide to switching up your bookshelves for the month (Hot Tip! Scroll down a couple of posts for all our tips on book rotations!)
It's a scavenger hunt! Inspired by a birthday party we recently attended, we loved how the host family created a scavenger hunt to keep the kids engaged and exploring the area they were in. It was so much fun to see their excitement. This activity is perfect for ages 3 and up (though could easily be done with a two year old at a slower pace).
Things to Find:
How to Create this:
Keep it simple! You can write the list on a piece of paper or you can get fancy and add on to the activity by printing it out and using graphics that match through a simple image search on google. This helps your little babe connect that the word equals the picture. Or feel free to download our free scavenger hunt template! Just print it off and take it with you around whether you’re going around the block or on a new adventure. It’s yours - on us, just click here
Pro Tip! If you put it in a sheet protector, you can use a white board marker that will easily wipe off, so that you can use the hunt sheet again and again for whenever you need a quick pick me up or change in that neighbourhood walk routine!