September holds the promise of a fresh start with the return to school. Labor Day officially marks the end of the summer’s free and easy days. New people enter our lives and our growth and experience are measured. The weather is beginning to become cooler but hasn’t quite lost the warmth of sunny days yet. There are apples on the trees, and other yummy foods to harvest. September contains Keep Kids Creative Week and International Talk Like a Pirate Day. It’s time to not only learn, but play too.
Toys and Games
Practicing waiting teaches kids to inhibit impulses and listen for direction. This is one of the hardest skills for kids of all ages to accomplish and is an indicator of future success. Here are a few of our favorite games for teaching impulse control.
Cut out shapes from a variety of colors of foam sheets and have kids “Walk like a duck to a blue heart or Bear Walk to a brown square”.
Use a flashlight that displays a green or red light to practice that a Green light means Go and Read is Stop.
Build a Block Tower and kick it over on “Ready, Set, GO! or by counting to 3, 5, or 10 depending on the age of the kids or how long they can wait.
Melissa and Doug Children’s Sandwich Stacking Game is a blast pitting competitors against each other. The game comes with crazy sandwich combinations that you can display or call out so that kids work on both listening skills and memory to foster executive functioning skills. If you spread out the “toppings” visual scanning is also facilitated. Although it is not available on the Melissa and Doug’s website, it is on Amazon, and at the local stores in my area.
Educational Insights The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Card Game is a fun game to introduce color recognition. Race other players to collect acorns. The game reinforces the ability to match and sort colors and kids need to wait to look and listen to cues. Available on Amazon.
The Kissing Hand by Oceanhouse Media is a classic book about beginning to go to school. It addresses how children evolve from being a member of a family to a member of a larger community such as a school. Each retelling will give you goosebumps, and fill you with a mother’s love.
Montessori Preschool is an all-inclusive app from Edoki that contains many of the games from their other apps as a foundation and will include new apps on a regular basis. It is subscription based, but you are paying for the convenience of a complete curriculum that is organized in one place. I cannot tell you how much time I have personally wasted hunting for a particular app only to have the child bored and then distracted. The activities are laid out under the categories of math, literacy, arts, practical life, and cognitive skills – the lists of activities are extensive. Many traditional Montessori games are presented that can easily be replicated for off-screen carry-over and exploration.
Bo’s School Day by Heppi is a delightful story about the routines of going to school. Kids lead Bo throughout the day and help him ready for school by packing his lunch and backpack, play with friends at school, and finally go home with Mommy. Many kids that are beginning school, need that reassurance of a schedule and in particular when a parent is coming back. Using a story such as this can help alleviate anxiety.
Sago Mini Puppy PreSchool is FUN! It contains 4 different interactive areas for cognitive development, but all activities are done with puppies! The thing I love about this app is that the puppies are not acting as children, but pursuing the learning activities as puppies do…and the results are laugh out loud funny! Basic color matching, counting to 10 using a 1:1 correspondence, spatial recognition, and musical activities round out this app. In addition, it helps refine pinching and targeting as well as other tablet skills as swiping with purpose.
Highlight’s Monster Day developed by Colto takes kids on a journey through the day of a little monster. The app is inspired by Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. In the app, kids tend to the little monster and help him throughout the day. It not only reinforces daily routines but also fosters social and emotional awareness.
Anderson, Marlo August 04,2017 https://nationaldaycalendar.com