We’re getting very excited – J will start school in September, proper full time school and he’s eager to go. To help him prepare and be ready to start we’re playing through the summer developing skills that he needs. One of the skills that will be essential in school (reception class in the UK or Kindergarten in the USA) are skills in sharing and turn taking and we’ve been focusing on them playing some very simple games that will help develop these as well as introducing rules as well.
We started to introduce some simple games from Christmas this year – things that need J to take turns and wait as well as ones that he has to share the counters, ball etc in as well. Here are our favourites.
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Four in a row/Connect four
A simple game and lots of fun to play – taking turns is essential and with the different colour counters we found it easy to get J to take turns first – it was almost as if removing it from J’s turn our turn to the white’s go and the red’s go he was able to take turns. With the added bonus of counting and problem solving it’s a fun game for you and your child to play together.
Those little legs need an exercise and soccer is perfect for practising sharing and turn taking – kicking the ball to each other or even taking turns at aiming at the goal helps to develop a team spirit as well as prepare your child for starting school and games that they will encounter in the school day.
Another fun game for taking turns – whether you buy a pack of flash cards, memory pair cards with your child’s favourite characters on or even make your own memory card game you can work on turn taking with your child choosing which cards to pick and waiting for their turn – there is many sitting on hand moments in our house when J knows which card is the matching pair and wants to shout out (another valuable skill for little ones to learn is to not call out).
We start off sharing out our cards – it’s a game we play often so there is a big temptation for J to share the cards out unfairly giving himself a bigger pile to put him at an advantage from the start but working on sharing out resources is another useful area for children preparing to start school and then take turns to turn the cards over. We tend to play with animal, letter or number cards that we have collected over the last year including ones that we have cut out from our favourite magazines.
Pop Up Pirate
We’re still fairly pirate mad after J’s birthday last summer and pop up pirate has been a great game for J to work on turn taking with him because it can be up to 4 players we’ve had fun with him and 3 of his friends playing together taking turns – again it has helped saying “red’s turn” etc…
Hide and Seek
Such a simple game add in the element of taking turns counting and hiding and you can have fun from both sides, it’s also been a lot of fun getting J used to the rules and the idea of the game – I don’t know how many times I have been told “Go and hide under the table Mummy and I will find you”.
With these simple inexpensive or free games you can start to prepare your child for Kinder or Reception year at school in a fun playful way.
We’re joining together with 6 fabulous blogs to help you Get Ready for K through Play over the summer – week 1 last week was all about developing language skills – pop on over to Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas and find out more as well as the links to ideas from Toddler Approved, Mama Smiles, Coffee Cups and Crayons and Mess for Less.
This weeks focus is all about Social and Emotional Skills needed for Kindergarten (reception year). Pop along and check out the other great ideas
Top 5 Social Skills for Kindergarten Readiness – Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Teacher Says: A Following Directions & Listening Game – Coffee Cups and Crayons
Social and Emotional Skills for Children – Mama Smiles
Helping the Shy Child Prepare for Kindergarten – Mess for Less
Check back next week to see what other fun playful ideas we will be sharing to help prepare your child and you for Kindergarten.