Hi Preps and Families!
We hope your holidays are going well!
If you would like some fun learning activity ideas to try in your holidays, have a look below!
Prep students depend on their memories a lot as they begin to learn to read and write. For example, when learning Magic Words, when connecting sounds with letters of the alphabet and when writing letters and numbers. Here are some memory games you can play together:
‘I went shopping…’
You may remember this game from when you were small – it’s an oldie but a goodie! It’s easy to play when you are in the car. Just in case you haven’t played it before, this is how it goes:
- play in a pair, or with the whole family
- take turns; the first person says ‘I went shopping and I bought a ….. (choose anything you like, one word choices work best) cat’
- the next person says ‘I went shopping and I bought a …. (must mention all previously bought items in order) cat and a (chooses a new item) ball’
- the game continues with the next person ‘I went shopping and I bought a cat, a ball and a … cake’
Feel free to help your child if s/he can’t remember an item. Play for as long as the child is having fun, (or as time allows!) stopping if they are not enjoying it. Any amount of time spent playing this game will help develop their memories.
Ask your child to select five objects to place on the floor/table between you. Spend some time naming the objects together, then ask your child to turn away and close his/her eyes. Remove one object and place it behind you. Tell the child s/he may turn around, look at the objects and tell you which one is missing. Then swap roles – you turn around, close your eyes and your child removes an object. If this is too easy, gradually introduce some more objects. As above, play while it is fun, stopping as soon as it isn’t.
Magic Words Memory
Thanks again to Mr Ramage and his son Banjo who have given permission to use this video filmed a few years ago when Banjo was in Prep. It’s important to take note of what Mr Ramage says regarding using about five Magic Words when you play this game, consisting of three your child knows well and two they are a little unsure of, giving lots of opportunity for success while building on their learning.
Holidays are a great time to encourage children to think and talk about their local environment, seasons and daily weather. Here are some conversation starters/activities based on three of the key questions (1. What are places like? 2. What makes a place special? 3. How can we care for places?) found in the Victorian Curriculum Foundation to Level 2:
- How can we tell (Nanny/Poppy/Dad/Mum/) about our visit to the (pool/park/skate park/bike track/movies/library/beach/bush)? What was it like there? Encourage your child to think and talk about what s/he could see, hear, smell, touch, taste. Did it take a short time or a long time to get there? Did you walk to somewhere close or drive to somewhere further away?
- Talk with each other about special places you visit. What makes them special? Is it the people, the natural features like the sea, the activities you can do there or how you feel when you go to that place?
- Look at a map together if you are going on a trip. Read familiar place names to your child and point to them (eg. Geelong/Melbourne etc). Talk about different lines/colours on the map (eg. blue for rivers, red for big highways, black for smaller roads; lines marking state boundaries)
- Draw a map together including special features of your street (eg. my house, post box, corner shop, park, friend’s house)
- Talk about the ways you ‘look after’ the special places you visit. For example, when we visit the bush, skate park or beach, we take our rubbish home with us or put it in the bin; if we go hiking, we walk on the track so as not to squash growing plants; at the library we treat the books and computers with care.
- Look for autumn leaves when you go for a walk; name the other seasons
- Describe the weather to each other (what can you see, feel, hear?)
Enjoy lots of stories together! Take some extra library books with you when you visit relatives and make the most of those other willing story tellers (Nans and Pas, Uncles and Aunts…)
Part of our learning last term focused on developing an attitude of gratitude, as John Butler sang about in our Juniour Assembly item song ‘Better Than’.
- Talk with your child about the things in your lives for which you are thankful and draw a picture together of some of these things
- Make a ‘Thank You’ card for the Easter Bunny! Your child will probably need you to write any words down for copying
- Construct a useful item for the Easter Bunny using Lego, blocks, play dough, kinetic sand. You could make Easter Bunny a house, a turbo charged car or a nice deck chair for relaxing after all that hard work!
- Play ‘Simon Says’ using ‘location words’ (eg. ‘Simon says, “Stand in front of your brother/behind the chair/on top of the hill” etc)
- Location words students tuned in to during Term 1, Week 9 were: left, right, above, below, on top, underneath, over, under, middle, next to, beside, forwards, backwards)
- Practice verbally counting from zero to 20 in order (or to whichever number your child can accurately count from memory; if s/he has difficulty with any of the numbers between 10 and 20, you can help)
- Play ‘What’s the number before/after, one smaller/one bigger, one more/one less than ….. (between zero and 20 or zero and 10 if your child finds counting to 20 to be difficult). If your s/he can count in sequence to a higher number than 20, play the ‘before/after’ game up to that number
- Make a hungry ‘ Monster’ (or an Easter Bunny; Alien; Crocodile; Transformer; Dinosaur; Unicorn; Fairy) out of cardboard and a box; take turns to throw small items (scrunched up scrap paper/blocks/balls/uncooked pasta pieces) into the mouth, counting as you go. When you miss the mouth, it’s the other person’s turn. See how many you can get into the mouth before you miss it! Start off aiming for accurate counting of each object entering the mouth from one to 20; move past 20 if your child is keen to do so, helping with the oral counting sequence as needed
- If you’re talking about rainy days, why not try this numeracy craft activity?
For the dinosaur loving student, remember that the Melbourne Museum has both a special exhibition ‘Jurassic World’ and a regular free entry exhibit ‘Dinosaur Walk’ which you may enjoy visiting with your family! You can find out more by clicking on the links below.
We hope you enjoy these ideas for some of the ways you can talk, learn and have fun together over the holidays!
Please remember that these suggestions are not homework, but just some ways you may enjoy learning together at home if you have the time and inclination.
The emphasis is on relaxed and fun! Enjoy!
The Prep Team