Creation and Dd
September 29, 2020
This week we are focusing on "creation" from both a Biblical perspective, and general. If you participate in Godly Play through our parent church this Sunday, you will hear the story of Creation. Our Zoo Phonic letter for the week is D, Dee Dee Deer. Learning the phonics is one way we can teach our children how to read, but there are many other ways we can support literacy at home also. Mrs. Albert and I recorded a couple read aloud videos, so don't forget to scroll all the way to the bottom of this page to check them out.
While there are many other ways we can encourage and support literacy throughout the day, we're going to focus on just a couple of them here. The most important thing you can do is to read to your child. I can't stress this enough. Reading to your child promotes brain development, helps build your child's ability to concentrate, aids in understanding the world around us (and outside of ours), develops imagination and creativity, strengthens family bonds, and of course, helps teach your child to read. Children who are read to, or read at least 20 minutes each day will hear about 1,800,000 words per year, will have read 851 hours by sixth grade, and will likely score90% higher on standardized tests than their peers who read less. If you do not have books at home, the Sno-Isle Libraries are still checking-out books while the buildings are closed to visitors; check out their website for more information.
Another way you can support literacy at home is by labeling everything. You can print, or write-up labels for each toy bin (ie: blocks, dolls, cars) and general items around the house (ie: television, chair...) and include a picture on the label, so children begin to identify the word with what it means. There are some free, printable labels available online, or you can make your own.
Rhyming is a skill that many kindergarten teachers would like to see in their students , and there are some easy ways in which you can work on this at home. Songs, books and poems with rhyming words are relatively easy to find, and don't forget the nursery rhymes we all grew up learning! A funny rhyming song my kids always enjoyed was "Down By the Bay," by Raffi. I found a fun matching game, with free printables to accompany the song, which your child might enjoy. Click on the "Rhyming Activity" picture to view and download the cards. You could make your own matching game with rhyming words as well.
Developing muscle memory for the letters is helpful in reinforcing letter awareness and reading skills. I have touched on this before, but there are some wonderful, inexpensive items you can put on a tray or in a tupperware, and have your child draw the letter with his/her finger (sand, salt, shaving cream are a few). You could have your child create the letters with small rocks stuck into dirt, or use play dough to form the letters. There are many cute printable alphabet play dough mats available online for free.
Zoo Phonic Animal Friend: Dee Dee Deer, Dd
This week's animal friend is Dee Dee Deer. Watch the video below to learn about deer and Dee Dee. If you draw a large letter D in block/outline letters, you can have your child "color" it in with a Q-tip and paint by making tiny dots, or you could cover it in glue and add beans for a collage (remember that dried, uncooked, kidney beans are toxic if eaten). A large cut-out capital D makes a great doughnut craft as well. You could have your child create a D collage with pictures from magazines, or next time you're at the grocery store, you could hunt for all of the D items or letters that you see. If you're focusing on lowercase d, then you could cut out the shape and use it as a pretend magnifying glass to help find items that start with that sound. D is pretty versatile, as far as letters go.
When we teach about the theme of creation in our preschool, we teach the Bible story, that God made the world, and, God made me. Of course, we are all wonderfully made, and there are some lovely ways you can focus on this and also make a keepsake. One such way is through self portraits. We like to have our students draw self portraits a few times during year, and as you may be able to guess, the end-of-year portraits are usually quite different from the beginning-of-year. We usually have a mirror handy so the kids can look at themselves while drawing. We don't use a template that has the face outline already printed because drawing a circle/oval is an important skill to work on. We do sometimes remind children what parts of the face should be included, but are careful not to micro-manage because this is also an opportunity for the kiddos to build-up their self confidence. If your child is able to, you could have her write her name on the portrait also.
There are some great books out there about how each of us are different, and how God made the world and each of us. When I'm looking for Christian books on this topic, I am partial to Matthew Paul Turner's books, "When God Made the World," and "When God Made You." Another books I love is, "I Like Myself" by Karen Beaumont (check out my read aloud of this book below). This book ties in wonderfully with self portraits and discussions or other creative activities that help us recognize and appreciate the things that make us unique and special.
If you are looking to create with your child, the possibilities are pretty much endless. You can add items from around the house to play dough to make animals, monsters, a person, etc. You can use blocks, Legos, plastic cups, popsicle sticks, or whatever you have around the house, to build the "Three Little Pigs" homes, or a zoo for all the animals. Most children are naturally creative, and there is nothing wrong with simple, inexpensive play items (like sticks, mud, and water). If you aren't in the mood for mud pies, maybe you want to bake with your child. The book, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Numeroff can be inspiration for baking/creating cookies, and there are some cute math activities to accompany it as well. You can either count the chocolate chips in your cookies, or draw cookies and count the chips that were drawn in them. There is also a link below to some printables that go along with the book. We have a read aloud of the story below with Mrs. Albert, that you'll want to watch as well.