I am so excited to be starting Get Ready for K Through Play, an 8 week series with some of my favorite bloggers that will give you the tools you need to prepare your child for Kindergarten in fun, hands-on ways. Each week, we will all focus on a different skill that your child will need for Kindergarten. This week are sharing ways to help your child develop their Language Skills.
My twins will be starting Kindergarten at the end of August. I can hardly believe that my little babies are going to start Kindergarten in a few months! Having taught Kindergarten for many years, I am well aware of the skills that children need to be successful. Language skills are essential for your Kindergaterner and there are many fun ways to practice them.
I am going to be sharing how you can use a story box (with free printables)to help your preschooler develop these skills that they will need in Kindergarten. Some of the readiness skills teachers look when it comes to language are: speaking in full sentences, using descriptive language, creating stories, and expressing ideas clearly. This activity will help kids grow their skills in these areas.
To make a story box you will need:
- Story cards
- Empty tissue box
- Gift wrap
TO GET THE FREE PRINTABLE, CLICK HERE.
Cut out the images on the free printables to make cards for the story box.
To create your story box, use some leftover wrapping paper to cover an empty tissue box, leaving the top slot uncovered. This took just a few minutes to do. If you are really short on time, you can skip the gift wrap entirely and just use the empty tissue box.
There are 6 story cards with people on them. Remove them from the rest and put them aside. Place the rest of the cards in the story box.
Now you are ready to play! Ask your child to pick one of the people from the story cards to make the story about. Then place the rest of the people cards in the story box with the other cards.
I started off the story so I could model for my kids how to do it. Using the card my daughter had picked I said "Once upon a time there was a girl named" and my daughter said "Nancy." I asked my daughter to tell me about Nancy and she replied "she is happy."
We thought a good way to start the story was "Once upon a time there was a girl named Nancy and she was happy because..." I added the "because" as a connector to help my next daughter continue the story. She is three and I was worried she would have trouble with this language game. But when she pulled out a ball card she said "she was happy because she had a ball." Your kids will probably need to you to add connectors in between their turns to help the story flow. Some great connectors are because, and then, when all of a sudden, but...
We took turns going around in a circle, each of us pulling a card and adding to our story which very quickly took a turn for the silly.
In round one, we only used some of the cards before completing our story, but after that the kids really wanted to use all the cards. We would line them up in order so that we could retell the story at the end which is another important Kindergarten skill.
I was thrilled with how my four year old twins were using full sentences and their imaginations to create the stories. Often, they would add two and three sentences to the story. We had lots of funny things occur in the stories particularly with the order of the cards. Sometimes we would pull out an umbrella card long before we got a rain card and the kids would have to come up with a way to use the umbrella that made sense in the story.
I was so pleased with how this story box game turned out. Not only did my kids get to practice some important Kindergarten readiness skills like speaking in full sentences, retelling a story, and using descriptive language, but they had a blast while doing it. I can't tell you how many times my kids (and myself) dissolved into a fit of giggles because of some silly event that we had made up in our story.
Be sure to visit the following bloggers and check out their Language skills posts:
Using Puppets for Language Development from Toddler Approved
Developing Kindergarten Language Skills from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Language Experience Stories from Coffee Cups and Crayons
Play to Promote Language Development from Mama Smiles