Preschoolers Can Practice Writing Anywhere

WritingPractice

Most printed letters are composed of a combination of clockwise circles and straight vertical lines. Although your child’s scribbles may look like nothing, they show his emerging writing skills. There are activities you can do anywhere to help your child develop these strokes.

Have your child make clockwise circles and up-and-down lines using his fingers. He can draw in the air, on the water in the bathtub, on your arm, in the sand, or on a table. It can also be fun to make these strokes in flour, salt, or sugar. You can also add a small amount of liquid or sand in a zippered plastic bag and let your child make the impressions on the outside of the bag. 

You can also ask you child to use his feet or toes to create the circles and lines. Or you can ask him to draw the shapes in the air and ask you to guess which shape he’s drawing. 

Once your child starts forming letters, you can do the same activities with the letter formations!

Writing photo source: wonderfulyearskindergarten.blogspot.com

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Discounts for Multiple Programs!

Square Roots Preschool is designed as a two-day program, but we are now offering enrollment in multiple programs, which gives our students an opportunity to delve deeper into a particular subject or have more practice with a topic or skill they may be struggling with. Our programs are designed so that students enrolled in one two-day program will be well prepared for kindergarten, but enrollment in multiple programs will provide a deeper foundation.

As our morning classes fill up, we will begin offering afternoon sessions, as well. Our goal is to offer our families a program that fits with their time and education desires.

Families enrolling their students in more than one program will receive a 20% discount on the second and subsequent programs!

We are a very small school, so check us out while there are still spaces available. Call 480.447.ROOT to schedule a tour!

Help Me Read the Mail

Children will begin the process of learning to read long before they are actually reading. Asking your preschooler to help you sort the mail is a fun, interactive way to boost those pre-reading skills.

Ask your child to sort the mail into different categories. These categories might include magazines, letters, envelope color, type of stamp, size, or person whom the mail is for. This process of sorting helps with sorting, classification, and letter recognition. Experiment with different ways to sort the mail, and your child can even play “postal worker” by delivering the mail to the appropriate person in the family.

Let your preschooler open the junk mail and pretend to read it to you. See where her imagination takes her. You can also have her fill out forms (often junk mail comes with order forms) or circle all of the “red” items in a catalog. All of these tasks help boost reading skills and help boost confidence and enthusiasm for reading.

We recently set up a “post office” in our dramatic play area. The students wrote letters, read mail, delivered packages to each other, sorted mail, made and pasted stamps, and categorized mail by type. They had a fantastic time and didn’t even realize they were boosting their pre-reading skills in the process!

Play Pretend Grocery Store to Introduce the Concept of Money

Mastering the concept of money is more complicated than we might think. Children need to understand numbers, measurement, and basic fractions to grasp how money works. They may see it every day, or maybe less so, now, since debit and credit cards are more the norm. Since money and its exchange is such an important part of life, beginning to learn about it at an early age is important.

You can play pretend grocery store at home to have fun and teach the concept of money. First, gather safe empty food containers and label each clearly with a price. Start by using prices between one and ten cents. Give your child pennies, dimes, and nickels and let him select and purchase items from your “store.” Help your child recognize the numbers in the price and count his money to make sure he has enough for the items he wants to purchase. Make change, if necessary.

Then reverse the roles so that you are the shopper and your child is the grocer. If you give your child more money than is needed for the items, it will give him an opportunity to correct the mistake and provide change. Count together to make change.

As your child grows and understands the concept of money, you can introduce larger and more complex dollar amounts, so this is a game that can be played well into the elementary years.

Doing Things in Order

When a task requires one step to be completed before the next step will work, that task provides a wonderful learning opportunity for preschoolers. Learning how to complete steps in proper order is an important pre-math skill.

Making the bed is a great example of a task that requires steps to be done in a particular order and is something that your preschooler can accomplish with a little help, at first, and then all on his own. Show and talk to your child about how the sheet must be pulled up first, the comforter placed second, and how the pillow is placed on top last. Once your child gets the hang of it, allow him to do it himself. Ask him to describe what he did first, second, and third.

Making toast is another activity that requires steps to be done in a certain order. Help your child understand and execute the steps in order. First, get a slice of bread, then put it in the toaster, and last, put butter on it. What would happen if we put the butter on before we put it in the toaster? Talking about that helps illustrate the importance of taking the steps in the proper order.

Think about what tasks you do throughout the day that require steps in a particular order and narrate them for your child. Not only are you helping with pre-math skills, you’re also helping your child feel the accomplishment that goes along with completing these tasks!

Teaching the Concept of Volume

Our class recently did a seemingly magical experiment to teach the concept of volume.

Ms. Taryn presented the students with four containers of water, each container a different size and shape. One container was short and fat, one was tall and thin, one was a pint glass, and one was pinched in the middle, vase-like. The students looked at the containers full of water and predicted which container held the most water, and then the next most…

Volume

They were all in agreement and very confident. Then we brought out the measuring cup. Each student had the opportunity to pour a container of water into the measuring cup. What were the results?

Container one had exactly one cup of water in it.

Container two had exactly one cup of water in it.

Container three had exactly one cup of water in it.

Container four had exactly one cup of water in it.

Wait. What? How could that be?

We talked about how even though the containers were different sizes and shapes, they all held the same volume! The students were shocked and amazed, much like a magic show. They learned by seeing for themselves the importance of measuring, how things may not always be as they seem, and the concept of volume.

Fun and Learning at the Grocery Store

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Fun and Learning at the Grocery Store. (cart image source: carriage-trade.com)

An outing to the grocery store with a preschool-aged child can cause many parents to cringe. Oh, the thought of it! Why not turn the outing into a fun educational experience for your young child? Children are typically on their best behavior when they have a job and feel a sense of responsibility.

Next time you’re planning a trip to the grocery store, pull out a package or two (or however many your young writer can focus on) of something you plan to put on your grocery list. Have your child write the item(s) on the grocery list by copying from the package or label, such as “milk,” “pasta,” or “applesauce.” To make it easier, you can circle or highlight the main word on the package–exactly what your child should write. If your child isn’t writing letters, yet, he can draw a picture of the needed item.

Once you get to the grocery store, allow your child to hold his list and search for the items he added as you go up and down the aisles. This fun “job” will help your child with writing letters and words, planning, and will give him a sense of accomplishment. Plus, it just might make your grocery trip more peaceful!