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Getting Kindergarten Ready Through Small Group Activities

It seems like each year schools are expanding what children need to know before entering Kindergarten. When I started Kindergarten all I needed to be able to do was put on my own shoes! It’s safe to say times have changed.

Through ’Small Group’ interactions we strive to make children’s transition into Kindergarten a happy one! Small Group, is a time in our Highscope daily routine where the children are each supplied with their own set of materials to interact with (teacher included). During this time, the children question, experiment, observe, and create based on their own interest.

When preparing children for Kindergarten, our Highscope Curriculum plans  activities around Key Developmental Indicators. These Key Developmental Indicators define important learning goals for young children. Check out these Small Group Activities that we love to do in the classroom!

  • Bears & Bowls: Before beginning Small Group read a book about a bear. This preschool room read, “Bear Can’t Sleep” by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. After the book was over the children were talking about bears, caves, and hibernation! Then they were each given a paper bowl, a set of markers, and scissors. Some of the children were interested in making a bear caves, some were interested in making a steering wheel, and some made it into a hat!
    • Key Developmental Indicators: Initiative, Sense of Competence, Fine-Motor-Skills, Vocabulary, Book Knowledge, Art, Pretend Play, Experimenting, and Communicating Ideas
  • Toss & Tally: For this you will need little buckets or baskets, some squishy balls (or bean bags), paper and crayons. Show the children how you’re counting every time you make a basket by marking a tally. The children explore with underhand tossing, overhand tossing and even with bouncing the ball. This will have the whole room counting and smiling!
    • Key Developmental Indicators: Engagement, Gross-Motor-Skills, Writing, Counting, Spatial Awareness, and Measuring
  • Paper Planets: This is a fun activity that can teach children about recycling! Pull out some old newspapers or a recycling bin, scissors, and masking tape. Some of the children rolled their paper into a ball and taped it together to make a planet, some taped pieces together to make a robot, and some like cutting pieces of tape. To extend this, add some paint when they’re done and see their creation come to life!
    • Key Developmental Indicators: Initiative, Sense of Competence, Fine-Motor-Skills, Shapes, Art, Experimenting, Natural and Physical World, and Ecology
  • Chemical Reactions: This activity is not only loved by the children it is loved by the teachers too! For this, you will need trays, baking soda, vinegar, and pipets. Allow the children to discuss and make predictions about what they think will happen when you put the two together. Then just listen for all the excited reactions and observations they make!
    • Key Developmental Indicators: Engagement, Sense of Competence, Fine-Motor-Skills, Vocabulary, Observing, Experimenting, Predicting, and Communicating Ideas

We want children to have confidence and excitement for learning when entering Kindergarten. Our goal is to help create lifelong learners! These activities can be done in the classroom or even at home! Click on one of the links below to find more about Kindergarten and readiness in your local area.





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