Kindergarten Tips: Keep Children On Track with Activity Tricks
It sounds like a parental fantasy, the good fortune to drive kids to school each morning. Their bus pulls up outside, and out come the little ones’ strollers. After the kindergartners get settled in and the heads are swiveled to get a better look around, it’s time to have their eyes glued onto the windows of the bus. The way the windows frame the landscape and the scenery around them makes them the ideal way to make sure the preschooler is paying attention to what is going on in the world.
At first glance, this might seem like the perfect age for creativity and special projects. There will always be ways to get a bit creative with the children, but right now the hands are full with the first days of school and their transitions into new school uniforms. It’s a great time to figure out what activity on the bus will bring the kids face to face with situations they will struggle with in class.
How do you keep the kids engaged and focused on learning? That is the tricky part. Here are some suggestions, based on my experience as a parent, tutor, and teacher.
Turn the Bus into a Discovery Space
It’s not a children’s story book, and there are no magic beans or Treehouse rocks waiting to be found. But when it comes to activities, the bus can provide a wonderful platform for learning. I encourage families to pack a set of activities or something that will encourage the kids to be active.
Take the time to learn some basic math skills. Be creative. Take books apart or look for something that will work with the bus, or combine skills to create something special. For instance, place two fingers in a general or add or subtract. You can make a snow volcano out of the seat railings and sort all the liquids that come to a rolling container. Make your own treasures from hideouts in the bus or create a family scavenger hunt while driving home.
Take time to show the kids how their curiosity and innovative ideas can impact the world.
Join a Bus Club
When you have several children on the bus, you can create a Bus Club for all ages. What a fantastic opportunity for the older students and the younger ones to share in the limelight. You can even have a great afternoon social at the bus together. Use the bus as a canvas and let the kids get creative with it. A camera and a fountain are just two possibilities to provide a creative space to the little ones and the more experienced students.
Outdoor Adventures on the Bus
The only way a person with young children can take advantage of the sun and the active areas on the bus is if they prepare well in advance. If it is going to be a sunny day, it is probably best for everyone to go indoors and do some warm weather activities.
However, the bus is not an indoor space, so there is always the possibility of setting up an outdoor project. Let your kids have fun in the sun, chasing each other, playing hide and seek, or taking a morning swim. Use a finger sketching pad or play craft in the fresh air. For older kids and tweens, help them build castles out of carpet or join them for a field trip to pickle balls.
However you decide to do it, check to see if there are any sections of the bus that you can use for creativity. Many communities have parks or playgrounds nearby. Take the time to plan some activities or events.
What has made your children use the bus wisely? Share in the comments below.
For more on Kindergarten Tips, and for a detailed review of how I create a kindergarten set-up, check out this beginner guide.