Prepare your child for school.
Demands made on children today are much greater than in previous generations. To be able to achieve the maximum amount, the child needs a consistent, loving home and an opportunity of developing all the senses to the utmost.
The child must be secure in his home from where he can explore his surroundings and enjoy different experiences.
This is a very detailed list of activities and things to do with your child to help prepare for school, which will assist in all of the following – Hand eye co-ordination, Sensory Motor Functions,Perception – Visual Skills, Auditory/Listening Skills, Memory, Language – Free conversation and socialisation, Thinking – Imagine and fantasy, Association, Conceptualisation.
Hand eye co-ordination
The following exercises are useful in developing the large muscles of the body, body image and small muscles, as well as eye-hand co-ordination.
- Touch your head, body, legs, arms etc. What do they feel like?
- Touch your nose, eyes, ears, mouth, eyelids, lips, earlobe, fingernail etc. How do they feel?
- Touch your chest, shoulders, back, tummy etc.
- Touch your knees, calf, foot, ankle, big toe, toe nail.
- Touch your father’s and mother’s legs, neck, knees as fast as you can. Whose is the biggest, thickest, softest etc.
- Discuss his body with him. Look in the mirror. Note the two sides. Learn dominant side – usually right.
- Cut pictures of people from magazines. Cut into pieces and reassemble.
- Stand on your left leg and count to five.
- Trace and draw the human figure with all features.
- Lie on your back and lift your head. Count to five.
- Jump up and down on tip-toe for six counts.
- Walk backwards. How does it feel? What does it remind you of?
- Walk like a crab. How does it feel?
- Play follow my leader.
- Throw a ball into the air and catch it with two hands. Bounce the ball with one hand on the ground. Bounce the ball hard so that it bounces high and catch it. Think about a story about a ball and tell it to your dad. Ask dad to tell you a story.
- Jump over a rope without touching it. Jump until you are good at it.
- Crawl under the chair, table, mat etc. See how quickly you can do it. Do it again until you don’t get stuck.
- Sort buttons into groups with the same colours and/or sizes together. Identify different colours.
- Stand on one leg, shut your eyes. What were you thinking of while your eyes were closed?
- Stand on one leg, close your eyes, stretch your arms out in front of you. Who looks like this?
- Walk on a low wall or balancing beam of stilts made out of large jam tins. Make up a story. (Think of the circus).
- Draw a picture of someone you like very much.
- Balance on one stilt or brick. Stretch out your arms. What do you look like now?
Sensory Motor Functions
- Negotiating a maze of furniture, boxes, tins etc. Then complete exercises in colouring books “Take the rabbit to his carrots”.
- All areas under 1. above will help. Awareness of 2 sides of the body.
- Whilst lying on the floor have him move required body parts on command eg. left arm sideways and right leg up.
- Give directions for him to follow eg.
- to get to a certain place e.g.. his room etc.
- to draw a road for his Dinky cars to travel in the sand etc.
- Balancing games – walk heel to toe down the passage, hop on one leg, walk on the edge of the pavement (when safe from vehicles) etc. Stand with eyes closed on two feet then 1 foot for lengthening time.
- Clap, skip, gallop, run, march etc. in time to music, imitate a given rhythm e.g.. clap-clap-pause, 3 quick claps etc.
Perception – Visual Skills
Difference and similarities seen. Remembering what has been seen – observing.
- Name and show me everything in the kitchen that is red. Repeat this exercise using different colours eg. everything that is black, yellow, green, blue etc. Which colour has the most articles, which one least and which two colours had equal amounts.
- Show and name everything in the lounge that is green. Repeat with other colours. Which colours were used the most, the least?
- Show articles that are round, square or rectangular. Which shapes did you see most, the least?
- What do you see in the garden that is green. Repeat using other colours e.g.. purple, pink, yellow etc. How many green leaves have you seen? What do they remind you of? How do you feel?
- What do you see in the garden that is square? Repeat exercise enquiring about oval, round and square articles.
- What is far away? What is nearby? Name these articles. What is the furthest and what is the nearest?
- How far is the tree from the house? Very far, not so far, near. Draw a tree.
- How many coloured leaves does the flower have? Describe what the flower looks like.
- How many flowers are on the branch? What are you thinking of?
- How many panes are there in the window? What is used in the making of window panes? Which room has the largest window panes? Draw a window pane.
- Where does the sun rise? Where does the sun set? What do you think of when you see the setting sun? What do you feel?
- How many clouds are in the sky. Describe what the clouds look like. Which cloud is the largest? Which cloud looks like a feather? Find a cloud that looks like a shrub, a camel etc.
- Who is going to see the first star tonight?
- What does the star look like? What are you thinking about? What would you do if you were a star?
- Look at the moon. What shape is the moon now? What colour it?
- I am thinking of something that is round. We buy it at the vegetable shop. It has a smooth skin. It grows on a tree. After washing it you may eat it and it is usually sweet. It may be green, yellow or red. It crunches under your teeth when you bite it. Do more of these exercises.
- Colour or trace specified articles in a picture, find all the e.g.. bones hidden in the picture, trace the tangles lines and see who has caught the fish etc. Colouring in book activities.
- Follow a moving object with eyes only. (Left to right).
- Copy simple line drawings (Geometric shapes). Draw a line between two parallel lines.
- Colour in and trace.
- Show a picture. Talk about it. Hide it. He tells what he saw. Play Kim’s game. (Tray of small objects. Move or remove one.) He must say what. Build-up to him recalling the items on the tray – start with 3 and build-up to 7.
- Cut small, known pictures from ads. Show 3-4. Let him look at them. Jumble them. He replaces them correctly. Use Lego blocks in colour sequences.
- Listen to different noises, some that are hard and some that are soft. Some that are loud. A car may have a soft drone and a train may have a loud drone.
- Animal noises: The bird sings and the train whistles loudly. Name the sound a mouse, a cat, a bird makes. Name the sound large animals like a dog, an ox, a horse, a donkey, an elephant, a lion and a pig make.
- Music: Name the music sounds that are soft and comforting.
- Persons: Sneeze, cough, yawn, laugh, giggle, sigh, exhaling of breath, speaking, shouting. What does it remind you of when someone sneezes, coughs, laughs etc. How do you feel when this happens?
- Play “I spy” describing an object in detail for identification.
- Blindfold the child. Guess what the sounds are that you hear, eg switching on a light, sweeping with a broom, pouring water into a cup, knock on the table, animal noises, environmental sounds etc.
- What was the first sound you heard when you awoke this morning? Would these sounds have woken you? What other new sounds did you hear today? What was the last sound you heard while you lay in bed last night?
- Compare different sounds and decide if the sound is hard or soft. Relate sound discrimination to the street, the home, on a farm.
- Child imitates animal sounds and parent guesses which sounds are being imitated.
- What do the following sounds remind you of. Water dripping, birds singing, a motorcar groaning, a train whistling and the wind blowing.
- Play the game – last night we had roast beef. (Next player repeats list and adds another vegetable).
- Learn rhymes. Make rhyming words – you sat ‘cat’, he adds ‘rat’, you ‘pat’, he – ‘hat’ etc. See who falls out first.
- ‘Say what I say’. He must repeat exactly what you say and how you say it.
- Talk about a picture, TV programme, outing, describe a person, bird, animal etc.
- Follow instructions.
- Break-up words – find small words in big ones eg outside – out + side, today – to+ day etc.
- Count the words in a sentence – do not exceed 5 words (ie one for each finger).
Logical sequencing of remembering and re-telling is important.
- Show the child a picture. Name all the possible articles and objects on the picture with the child. Remove picture and see how many he can still remember. Try and get the child to express what he thinks people and objects feel in the picture. (Sad, happy, cross etc.)
- Play Kim’s game. A try of small objects, move or remove or add one while the child looks away or closes eyes, he has to observe the alteration or addition.
- Play commercial memory games.
Language – Free conversation and socialisation.
- Guess what the following are:
- a person rides on it
- a person sleeps on it
- a person makes tea in it
- a person ties their shoes with it
- a person sits on it
- a person cooks food on it
- Mother uses this to cook in
- Here is a ball, make up a story about it. Tell about his mummy, daddy, brothers and sisters. Does he wear clothes?
- What is the story your favorite toy wants to tell you today?
- Tell me what your pet would like to tell you today?
- Ask any questions starting with:
- Look at a nice picture and tell me what is happening on the picture. What do you think happened afterwards?
Thinking – Imagine and fantasy.
- Gallop like a horse
Waggle like a duck
Fly like a bird
Jump like a rabbit, a frog etc. Note that these actions must be different.
- I’ll act a role and you must guess who I am or what I am doing. Driving a car, doing the ironing, washing dishes, painting walls etc. Child must guess what parent is acting.
- Now child acts a scene and parent must guess.
- Child pretends to be an animal and parent has to guess what it is. He must walk like the animal, make animal sounds and eat like an animal.
- Fantasy: What does the cat say to you? Make up a little story.
- Pretend that the ball wants to tell you something. Put your ear to the ball and listen. What is he saying? How do you feel? Where does he come from? Why is his tummy so round? Child will learn to make up own stories and to think logically in sequence.
- What do you think it would have looked like if grass was purple? How would the world have looked? All the mountains, fields and gardening would have looked different. Would you have liked it?
- Do you think it would have been better if your cat had five legs? Why? Would he have been able to run, walk, sleep or play better? Would you have laughed at him?
- What would it be like if there were no mountains? Do the same with wind, rain, snow, rivers, animals, trees, roads or bridges etc.
- Using the following sets or words make up stories:
- Mouse and pumpkin
- Car and sweets
- Doll and ice-cream
Which story does mummy prefer? Why?
- Draw a picture of a story. Tell me the story. Nobody else must know this story, it must be your own story.
- Tell the story of Red Riding Hood but don’t always say “and then”. Now make up your own story about a wolf, a little girl and her granny. It must be original.
- Talk about things, describe things, name things etc.
- Cut up comic strips. Tell the story. He sequences the pictures correctly.
- He must stand, walk, crawl, hop, sit, lie etc on, in, under, next to, behind, to the left or right, put his hand above, below or beneath objects.
- Put objects eg Lego, plastic animals, his Dinky cars in specified positions.
- Draw eg a stick or ball in specified positions in relation to a picture in his colouring book
- Cutting out of pictures from old magazines and making up stories about them.
- Playing with plasticine.
- Building puzzles.
- Educational toys eg Lego.
- These must all be regarded as games. Stop if they become a chore.
- Do not allow him to become frustrated. Stop and help.
- They must not be used in competition with you or another child.
- Love, praise and encourage continually and constantly.
This document was originally compiled by C.M. Clark.