Does your family have special collections? Maybe they collect tools, spare change, stamps, ornaments, seashells, or photos. Young children also are drawn to collecting things. These collections …
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Does your family have special collections? Maybe they collect tools, spare change, stamps, ornaments, seashells, or photos. Young children also are drawn to collecting things. These collections can help them prepare for reading, math, and science.
Gather the collection together. Spread them out. Perhaps it’s a group of stuffed animals they line up by color, count, and name. It may be toy cars, dolls, toy figures, books, or interesting stones. Collections need a special box, bag, or place to be together, so they are easily accessible for little hands to manage and handle.
A collection can help children find what objects have in common and how they are different. Children need this skill to look at words and numbers very carefully. Talk about which ones are big, small, a certain color, rough or smooth. Which ones are favorites? Why? Which ones go together? Why? Collections lend themselves to patterning. Can you make two red cars and then a blue one pattern from a pile of cars? This is fun with money, blocks, and beads too.
With help, children may enjoy interviewing older people to find out about their collections. Help them to ask questions.” What is the collection? Why do you collect? May we see your collection?”
Help children by printing out simple sentences (one per page) for them to “read” based on the interviews. They may use pictures and memory or really read the words. Children can draw a picture for each sentence and make a little collections book. For example: “Grandpa has a collection of tools. This is a hammer. This is a saw. Mom has a collection of flower photos. This is a yellow sunflower. This is a red rose.” Children can dictate a sentence for you to print about their own collection. Make a cover with a title, children’s names, and staple together.
Learning how to group things together, patterning and counting is important early math, and science skills. Talking together with adults about the properties of items and explaining why they like certain things builds language development and self confidence. Children will be expanding their speech and social skills by finding out about the collections of others. Helping children read simple sentences made for them and drawing corresponding pictures will help build early reading, writing, and math skills. If children go to preschool or early elementary grades, they can share the pictures or the collections book. They may be able to bring part of a collection for “Show and Tell” on Face time or Zoom.
Esther Macalady is a retired teacher, living in Golden. More Grandparents Teach Too information at www.grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com and at wnmufm.org/learningthroughtheseasons.
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