In this ever-evolving situation with COVID-19, we are doing all we can to ensuring that our Kindergarten students continue to receive high quality education and support during this unprecedented period. With an ever-increasing number of families limiting access to education and care due to COVID-19, our Kindergarten Teachers, Educational Leaders and Educators have put together a learning plan with some activities that you can use to support your children as they work towards school readiness for 2021. Younger children will also benefit from many of the activities described below. Kindergarten is the year we prepare children for school and endeavour to instil a love of learning. Through our School Readiness Program, we focus on developing each child’s social, physical and emotional wellbeing and providing the foundation for their academic learning journey. To assist you with continuing your child’s learning journey at home, we have assembled this list of activity ideas. All these activities are enhanced by the questions posed by the adults engaging in the activities with children. The importance of using open-ended questions when engaging with your child
Skippy’s promotes the use of open-ended questions, which are questions that require more than one-word answers. Questioning is a large part of the Play-Based Learning philosophy, and by using open ended questions we encourage children to:
Use language and expand on vocabulary
Think about their answers
Elaborate with details
Thinks of new ideas
Problem solve and use cognitive skills
Examples of open-ended questions include:
Why do you think … ?
What is happening … ?
Why is the … ?
How does … ?
Developing Focus and Attention
Developing focus and attention is achieved through engaging multiple areas of the brain and using cognitive and listening skills. In Play-Based Learning, we achieve this through the use of games, such as group games, card games, board games and music games. Some examples are:
Memory (adjust the size to suit your child’s level i.e.: 12 cards only)
Board Games like Snakes and Ladders, Trouble
Gross Motor Development
Gross motor development is the developing and strengthening of the large muscle groups. Some examples of activities you can do to achieve this are:
Throwing and Catching a ball
Kicking a ball
Some videos to assist with gross motor development are:
Cosmic Kids Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga
Weekly P.E class with Joe: https://www.youtube.com/user/thebodycoach1
Fine Motor Development
Fine motor development is the development and strengthening of the small muscle groups. This is also where pencil grip and control as well as scissor skills are developed. Some examples are:
Playdough – with and without playdough tools
Scissors: cutting out items from catalogues, using scissors to cut playdough
Pencil Control: colouring in, drawing
Self-Help Skills - Building Independence
Self-help skills are lifelong skills that enable each child to independently achieve everyday tasks. We encourage the development of these skills by offering support, encouragement and assistance though encouraging children to attempt the task first. Some examples of self-help skills are:
Putting shoes on and taking shoes off
Dressing and undressing themselves
Using buttons and zips
Putting items away in the appropriate place (packing away toys)
Helping with the folding
Putting their own dishes in the sink
Making their own sandwich
Making their own bed
Taking out the rubbish to the bin
One thing we have all been able to observe during this pandemic is the effect we humans have on our planet. With people in lock-down and industry on hold, we have observed changes like the water in the canals in Venice clearing and the fish coming back. These changes have occurred over an amazingly short period of time! Educating children about ways to protect our planet are important. Some ideas on how you can do this at home are:
Turn off lights you don’t need
Turn off the TV if no one is watching it
Recycle your glass and plastics
Turn the tap off while rubbing hands with soap and on again to rinse
Turn the tap off between rinsing dishes
Fill the watering cans with bath and sink water to water the garden
Start a compost maker and teach the children how food items can break down to make soil
Depression is a huge issue in Australia across all ages, including children. We often think children have nothing to be worried about, but this is not the case. Teaching children in the early years how to have a positive mind-set and how to deal with negative thoughts is enormously important. Some ideas you can try are:
Turn off the TV or Electronic Gaming Devise and go for a nature walk in the garden
What living creatures can you find in the garden?
Take the dog for a walk
Do some cloud spotting and see what animals you can find
Lay on the floor and listen to relaxing music while doing some deep breathing
Use the Smiling Minds for Children App
Get you children into a daily Yoga routine
Dancing to your favourite music
Telling jokes, being silly, telling the funniest story
Creative expression, drawing, painting box construction etc…
Belly laughing – who can laugh the loudest?
At the end of the day share your three positives for the day
There are some other links to help support learning about the human body and language development.
How the body works series explains the function of different body parts and organs in a child friendly manner and sparks children’s curiosity as they explore their own bodies. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDummp96hqu7KAUbs5k_zOw
While reading stories is fantastic here is a link to audio stories where we encourage the children to listen to sounds and words while using their imagination to visualise the story. https://www.abc.net.au/radio/podcasts/kids-family-podcasts/
We hope that you find these activities fun and enjoyable for the whole family.