As you prepare a child for preschool (at a place like Sammamish Montessori School), it's important to understand the basic curriculum that they will be going through during the school year. Schools often provide this information to parents and it can be further used as a reinforcement tool at home. Instead of sitting your child down and doing basic worksheets, you can start a routine of reinforced learning through before and after school snack preparation. During snack preparation, your child has the ability to reinforce a lot of basic functions including colors, math, and organization.
Shapes & Sizes
In the morning before preschool, your child can help prepare the snack with you. When picking out snack supplies and containers, it's a good time to reinforce size comparisons and different object shapes. One of the easiest ways to do this is with clear directions. For example, you can ask your child to retrieve the big plastic baggie and the small spoon. If the child has trouble, you can hold up two spoons and ask them to select the smaller one.
If you have a collection of plastic containers, then it's a great way to reinforce shapes. For example, you can say that you need the circular container or the container with a square lid. As the routine grows, your child will be able to easily identify sizes and shapes.
One of the easiest reinforcements to do is with colors. When packing snacks in the morning, work with your child to identify all types of colors. Bright colored foods like carrots and apples makes this task easy to complete. After school, you can do a longer activity where the child can separate colors into different groups. For example, if you have a bag of vegetable chips, the child can sort out all of the chips into different color piles before eating them. It's a great way to process and understand colors.
Additional color learning can be completed through various colors of the snack supplies, lunch bags, and plastic containers.
As you have a child prepare their own snack, counting concepts can be learned and reinforced. For example, if a child is packing crackers, you can tell them to count seven crackers for their snack. As they pack the crackers, they will count up to seven and process each number as it's counted. This can be done with many types of snacks that are bagged up or placed in a container.
Another fun activity to play a snack pack timing game. By counting out loud, a child can time how long it takes you to pack a snack. Once completed, the child can have a turn or you can alternate different days to see who gets the fastest time of the week.
Preschool is one of the key times where students learn basic handwriting skills. One of the first things a child learns to write is their own name. Continue this process at home by allowing your child to label their snacks before school. Using a marker, a child can write their names on plastic baggies each day before the snack is placed inside. It may not seem like a lot, but a little extra handwriting can go a long way.
As the child starts out, it may be better to have them put initials first. After a few months, you can transition to the full name.
Singing & Socialization
Do not just pack your songs in silence, add a little musical fun to it. Infusing some music and singing into a snack routine can help build a child's confidence and make them more social while being in the classroom. There are a number of songs catered directly to snacks. As you listen through them, you and your child can pick out favorites that are used for the snack routine.
By mixing two or more of these reinforcements into a snack routine, you can really help your child succeed through a year of preschool. Planning ahead for these activities will help make everything go as smooth as possible.Share