Puddle Jumping Our Way Through Safe Water Play

Puddle Jumping Our Way Through Safe Water Play

Summer is still in full swing where I live. North Carolina doesn’t usually start to cool down until the end of September which is both a blessing and a curse. Safe water play in these warmer months is extremely important. One huge benefit in our favor though would be our puddle jumpers. Whether its a day at the lake, the community pool, or even our inflatable pool in the back yard – I have peace of my mind that my children are safe in their puddle jumpers.

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Kindergarten Preparation with The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Kindergarten Preparation with The Very Hungry Caterpillar

 

Hello there!

With April here and my oldest just turning 5, we have been on the hunt for fun ways to prepare for Kindergarten. We have all of the basics down but you can never spend too much time reminding young children about the things they already know or other ways to use their knowledge. Board games are fun and with the right games, perfect for working on skills for Kindergarten.

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Preparing for Kindergarten through Reading

Preparing for Kindergarten Through Reading jpeg

 

 

March is here which means it’s time to start submitting the enrollment forms for Kindergarten. At least in my area, that’s the case. Over the past year, we have really buckled down and began preparing for kindergarten when it comes to my oldest who just turned 5 last month. Reading has been a huge help for prepping with kindergarten.

Now I know you are probably asking yourself, how? How does reading really help with preparing for Kindergarten? It all comes down to the way you introduce books to your children. There is more to reading than just the words on the page.

When you read a book to your child and you make reading an interactive experience, it feeds young imaginations as well as their problem-solving skills, communication skills, and even their ability to understand what the intent or purpose of something is. My end goal with every book we read is to leave a lasting impression. This may not always work of course but I do put the effort in to make the story worthwhile.

 

Work on the W Questions

 

When we truly began introducing books, and not in the I bought these because they were cute and in all of the nursery decor sections of Pinterest, we started with just looking at the pictures of the book. I worked on W questions which help with one’s receptive language skills as well as critical thinking skills. Who, What, Where, Why? What do you see? Why do you think “insert person, animal, object, etc” is doing that? What colors are on the page? Where do you think they are going? Etc. Take this time to let your child think for themselves but also as an opportunity to explain the W questions back. This allows your child to see that not only is there an agenda with the story but that there is more to the story than words on a page.

 

Leo's Moon and These Are My Faces

 

 

One other extremely important topic we have addressed with reading is our emotions as well as how their actions/choices matter. I wanted my children to understand how they are feeling, why they are feeling that way, how someone else is feeling, how actions or events might make someone feel, etc.

We really enjoyed reading The Boy Without a Friend by Bruce Jassett, These Are My Faces by Bret J. Ludwick and Leo’s Moon by Cinthia del Grosso. Now, these books aren’t crazy popular like other books and that is really what I liked most about them. When preparing for Kindergarten, a variety is best when it comes to reading. Just like you and I, children will have different tastes in books. My 5-year-old is on the more serious side and he enjoys books that are more realistic. My 4 year still enjoys the bright colorful books you find in every book section. That’s okay!

 

Make reading fun!

Get silly with the books you read and plan some fun activities to go along with them. Coloring pages, crafts, recipes (If You Give A Mouse A Cookie), and anything else I can find. Eric Carle has always been a favorite of ours and there is an endless amount of ideas on activities to go with his work. Pinterest is an amazing resource for finding ideas and I know if you are anything like me, most Pinterest ideas are a fail. However, this has not been the case so far when it comes to finding activities to go with the books we read.

 

Preparing for Kindergarten

 

These ideas don’t just apply with preparing for Kindergarten but it is one way we have chosen in our home to help prepare. You also don’t have to use the most popular books on the shelves to make reading interactive for your child. Let’s face it, some children mature far beyond their physical age. Use magazines, read chapter books, whatever you have to do to gain their attention. Reading is such a crucial part of education and you can never go wrong with using it as a step to prepare for kindergarten.

I also wanted to take a moment to point out to those with children under the age of 5 that Dolly Parton runs an Imagination Library. When you sign up for this program, and it is determined on where you live if the program is available, every month from birth until age 5 you receive a free book in the mail. We have quickly been able to build up our mini library simply by participating in Dolly Partons Imagination Library.

Another great option for building your book stash is through The Book Bundler. This company bundles gently used books and sells them at a fraction of the cost. For example, a stack of 100 books for approximately $50 (this does change based on promotions and other variables such as age group, types of books, etc). That is an amazing deal! Their customer service is also on point.

Keep an eye out on the blog for other ways I am preparing for Kindergarten with my little ones.

Would you be interested in a Pinterest board or even a separate blog post sharing books we enjoyed as well as the activities we enjoyed with them? Let me know with a comment on this post or send us a message on Facebook or Instagram.