Learning shapes as an idea to help children develop readiness skills

Turtle Creek Learning Academy | March 8, 2013
Our parents at Turtle Creek are always looking for ideas to help their children develop readiness skills at home. This week I will offer a few things you can do in the car to constructively pass the time. Your children will be engaged and be learning at the same time. Try them out and let me know how they worked for you.

Blog-01Talk about shapes: Traffic signs are a good place to learn shapes and colors. Yield signs are triangles, highway signs are rectangles and stop signs are octagons. With younger children you may be doing most of the talking, “That sign is yellow and it is shaped like a triangle.” For older children note how many sides, angles and vertices. Connect children with the symbolic representation of signs. The stop sign means that we must stop. The yield sign tells me that I have to stop and let other cars go before me. This conversation will expand children understanding of how symbols mean other things.

Guess the number: Tell your children that you are thinking of a number between 1 and 10. After they guess a number, let them know if their guess is “bigger” or “smaller” than the number you are thinking about. This is a great game for developing number sense. With older children, have them calculate sums or differences in their heads in a string of problems. (“What is 4+3? When you have the answer say okay.” After the child says, “okay,” give them another problem. “Then add to that sum 4 more.” (11).” You can do as many strings of problems. The key here is for you and the child to hold the answer in your head until another problem is given.

Graphing: This takes a little preparation, but go and buy a clipboard and some red and green dot stickers. (You can use read and green crayons, but stickers are way more fun!) Show your child how to make a graph out of stickers so they can record when the stoplights are read and green. Divide a piece of paper down the middle into two columns. One had a red dot (or red X) on the top and the other has a green dot (or green X) on the top. When you come to a light, announce to your child if it was red or green and then they will put a sticker on the correct column. When you get home, you can count the totals. Talk about more or less. (fewer and greater than). This is a great activity to learn a bout data recording and interpreting.

License Plate Games: I’m sure we all played these games as kids. Look for designated numbers or patterns. Enough said.

Counting: and Singing: Nothing better than “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” It reinforces the understanding of the fixed ordering of numbers. Just count as high as your child can go. Count the telephone poles. (I am particularly fond of counting telephone poles. In the days of my marathon training, some days, it was the only thing that got me back home.)


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