In August and September many of our children transitioned to preschool or kindergarten. To highlight this transition and the methods we use to help kids with this transition we look at two providers Vivian Collins from North County area and Georgene Mason, Gabo’s Schoolhouse in the Delmar Loop area. As you gear up for the new school year, check out these low-cost, back to school activities St. Louis area providers are using to make transition into the school year exciting and fun in. As new and returning students arrive providers are working on finding the base learning children are accomplishing.
Two issues especially confront providers: separation anxiety and assessment screenings for children. Separation anxiety is a challenge returning and new students face. Activities such as the Kissing Hand below help deal with leaving family. Other activates help children ease into the school year and allow teachers to assess where children are at, so they can plan effectively and facilitate parent/teacher communication.
Don’t forget to tune in next month when we highlight another of our STL Educare providers as they explore specific assessment tools for children and having conversations with parents about effectively making referrals for assistance.
Funding for STL Educare is provided by the Missouri Department of Social Services, Children’s Division, Early Childhood and Prevention Services Section
Back to School Activities:
1. Harold and the Purple Crayon Playdoh: This project combines reading comprehension and fine motor skills in one activity. Read the book Harold and the Purple Crayon. If you don’t have this book it is available as told on YouTube. After reading/listening to the book, ask what things Harold drew and write them down for children. Then make Purple Crayon Playdoh:
Ingredients: 2 ½ crayons chopped up, 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 cup salt, 2 Tbsp. cream of tartar, 2 Tbsp. oil and 2 cups water
Steps: First, chop up crayons. Exact amounts don’t matter. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients
Next, heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped crayons. Stir until the crayons are completely melted. Slowly stir in 2 cups of water while stirring. Certain types of crayons will either make a clumpy goopy looking liquid. Other types will make a smooth liquid once the water is added. Either way is fine. Just keep stirring. Slowly, stir in the dry ingredients. The dough will pull together in a ball over the heat. Once the dough pulls together, dump it out onto a cutting board or counter. Let the dough cool until you can tolerate kneading. Knead the dough for a few minutes until smooth. (Note~ the waxy texture of this dough will create a spa-like experience while kneading) Use playdoh to recreate scenes from the book. Younger children will love the feel of this playdoh. Fine motor skills are strengthen by kneading the dough. Add scissors for more skill building. This activity provides a great opportunity for journal writing/drawing.
2. Paper Tunnels: This activity build eye-hand coordination and planning. Using construction paper and tape (painter’s, masking or washi). Cut some paper in half, others whole. Fold ½ inch on either side for tabs and tape the tunnels to a hard surface to form rainbow tunnels. Children drive their cars through the tunnels. Expanding on this: put a color chart to tell children which car to drive through next. Add numbers to top of tunnels to have children plan a trip through the tunnels in numerical order
Advance: cut toilet or paper towel rolls in sections. Decorate, place a number or shape on the top. Attach to a cardboard box lid. Place a pom-pom ball in the lid. Have children make the ball roll through the tunnels in order or shape. More? Have older children add the numbers the ball rolls through for addition practice.