Skills to Practice this Month
- See that your child can understand and follow oral rules and directions.
- Upon entering kindergarten your child should be able to sit for brief periods of time, about 15 minutes, and should be able to follow directions given out loud by a teacher.
Be sure to incorporate time into your day with your child where you are sitting quietly for brief periods of time. It is important that your child practices this skill and has the opportunity to have some quiet, still time during the day. Book sharing time is a perfect time to sit still and quietly for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Listening and following directions are important skills that span several areas of child development. For example, they are essential in the ability to learn in a group, to follow along in a lesson, and to understand the information being given. Talk to your child about ways in which he will need to be a good listener at school. Ask him to suggest ways he can learn to listen and follow directions at the appropriate times. Talk about how schools have rules and that rules are important to keep your child safe and students content while at school.
Help your child practice his listening and direction following skills by playing "Follow the Leader" with your child. The first one to be the leader does a movement, a facial expression, or positions himself a certain way and everyone else copies the leader. After about 30 seconds, a new leader is chosen and he gets to create a movement, etc. for others to imitate.
Play the "telephone" game with your child, your family, and friends. Everyone sits in a circle and one person whispers a word or phrase into the ear of the person sitting to her right. That person whispers it to the next person, and so on. The object of the game is for the last person to be able to correctly tell what the word or phrase was when it started. You will all have a great time and laugh out loud at how words and phrases get changed as they go from one person to the next. This is a great opportunity to stress the importance of good listening skills and what can happen if someone doesn't listen.
Give children the opportunity to create and record directions for everyday tasks like:
- Making a sandwich
- Playing a favorite game
- Getting from home to school
Have your child dictate these directions to you and record them and post in your home: directions for making a sandwich on the refrigerator, directions for getting to school by the back door, etc.