I don’t know how it happened, but my daughter somehow knew all of her colors by two years old. I don’t remember doing a lot of kids’ learning activities with her- she just picked them up the color names on her own, and I didn’t think much of it.
So when my son didn’t know his colors at a few months past two, I decided that A.) This was a problem and B.) That he is color blind.
Clearly- it’s not. And he’s not.
The average child should be able to name at least one color by age three. So the first step for us was accepting that we did not have a problem, by any stretch of the imagination. But it did also make realize that Abe may need a little more focused practice to learn his colors, and as a result, I’ve been making a greater effort to teach him.
So if you are ready to start teaching colors to your child, we’ve got some fun kids’ learning activities that will keep the process light and stress-free.
From an early age, I have always been both a teacher’s pet and an overachiever. I passed all the tests. I got all the awards. I always often came in first. For years, I’ve eagerly been awaiting my own kids’ turn. I told myself that I wouldn’t be pushy, wouldn’t assume my kid would be the best and the brightest, and was determined to let her go her own way. When the first few award ceremonies went by and Lila didn’t get an award, I tried my best to shrug it off. That’s okay! Everyone can’t get an award, or they would be meaningless! I mean, she has her moments, but she is fiery and passionate and smart and funny and AWESOME. Her day will come!
And today, when I opened up her homework folder and saw that slip of fancy copy paper, with the hint of a fancy border showing- well, I just knew. Our Her day had finally come.
“Congratulations! Your child has been selected to receive an award. Please join us for a ceremony on Tuesday, as Lila is recognized for… Alertness.”
For a first time Mom, I felt incredibly prepared when my son was born. I had 17 nieces and nephews and had been around kids a LOT. I was ready to change diapers. I wasn’t afraid of the dreaded first cold. I knew all the first aid and CPR you could want. I was prepared. And then the kids showed up and I learned all the things I hadn’t learned.
You probably haven’t learned all the things either.
Make sure to add these to your to-do list.
How to Throw a Ball.
Okay, I’m not a complete athletic disaster. I can throw a ball. But it’s actually WAY harder to throw a ball to a three year old than to another able bodied adult. You have to somehow throw it really slow. And make sure to avoid hitting them in the face. Because they won’t just catch the ball if it’s about to hit them. They’ll wait, let it hit them, and then freak out about it. And then make you throw it again and again until your arm falls off.
How to Draw Every Animal in Existence.
Before I was a Mom I’m not sure I’d ever drawn a rhinoceros. Or a “water dinosaur.” I know I didn’t draw the animals/monsters/creatures that my children imagine – and then request for me to draw. To their exact, but undescribed, specifications. But I do know that a lot of the time my drawings are not up to my children’s standards. I should have spent more of my first pregnancy in an avant garde art class taught by opinionated toddlers. If they have one of these in your area, it will be worth every penny.
Bonus points if they teach you how to draw things that you’ve never seen before. You know, like thunder.
How to Move Silently Through a House.
When we were house shopping, I did not walk through the house listening for squeaky floorboards. FATAL mistake. Because there’s a board in my son’s room that has almost destroyed me. After spending countless hours lying on his floor praying he’ll fall asleep, the last thing I want to do is wake him up stepping on that board. Squeaky doors? I’m just going to take them all of their hinges. Or go to some sort of cat burglar crash course in how to be more sneaky.
How to Remove Objects from a Nose
Maybe you think this is covered under basic first aid, but not so, my friends. There are actual techniques for this sort of thing. For example, do not put any kind of finger or tool up there. Is it close enough to the nostril that you can pinch above it and push it out? Or should you try to blow it out like in that viral video that’s been going around (doctors say no, by the way, so THANKS FOR NOTHING VIRAL VIDEO)? Or do you have to go to freaking urgent care over this?? No one prepared us for A.) That level of decision making. B.) That kind of medical know-how.
Tetris Level Packing Skills
No one told me that I should have been spending WAY more time playing Tetris in preparation for parenthood. From packing a diaper bag, to packing my car for a day trip, to packing my daughter’s backpack on show and tell day (which is much more complicated than one would originally believe, I assure you), I use way more spatial awareness on the daily than I ever imagined I would.
Emotional Awareness of Others, Bordering on Psychic Ability
In the thirteen seconds it takes from when my daughter first appears in the dismissal line to when her teacher hands her over at the gate, I have to decide what kind of mood she is in and how to react appropriately. Will a big hug make her push me or melt her like a popsicle? Should I dare ask how school went? Does she want to walk or should I prepare for a battle about whether or not I am going to carry her to the car? It seems like an impossible task, one I am certainly untrained for. But I gotta say…for an impossible task, I’m getting pretty darn good at it.
How to Put Gloves on a Child
Ooooohhhhh, you think this is easy? That’s cute. Because guess what? Kids can’t move one finger at a time. And eight of their little fingers fit into one glove finger. So you sit there like a rational adult saying “Move this finger, no pull this one one, okay put the big one back in, no not that one, the other one, wait, now we’re back how we started!,” before you realize that you are fighting a losing battle. Better to take your chances with frostbite and save your sanity.
What other skills do you wish they’d told you that you’d need as a parent?
No matter where you are in the school year, I’m sure the pressure is on. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the day to day that you forget to prep for the big events ahead. End of year teacher gifts are FAR off of our radar. We are miles away from Teacher Appreciation Week (which, WHOA. Could we possibly make that a bigger deal? I don’t think so.) The last days of school? Please. Let’s just get through Back to School Night first, am I right?
Except on the first day of school last year, when I asked Lila how her first day of school was, she said “I need three popsicles. And a nap.” The second day, she said, “When Mrs. D gets mad, she sounds like a buffalo. It’s AWESOME!” I made a mental note to tell her teacher about it, but frankly, there just isn’t that much time to touch base every day. And let’s be honest. My memory ain’t so good these days.
I spent many years as a teacher, and I’m sure my students must have come home with some whoppers about me. Hearing Lila’s version of events made me think about all the funny/silly/sweet things my students must have told their parents about me and my classroom. I desperately wished I could have heard what those things were. (I mean, the nice things, of course. I’m not a glutton for punishment. I don’t want to hear about how the kid said I’m a monster, obviously.) Continue reading “A Teacher Gift You Should Start on NOW”→
A new school year brings with it many things- new backpacks. New uniforms. New teachers. And for some of us it brings new experiences. When you first set out to prepare your kids for their FIRST first day of school, a million questions pop into your mind. Is my child ready for preschool? Does my child have the kindergarten readiness skills they need? Will they be okay without me?
As a former teacher, I was surprised to find that I had exactly the same concerns when my daughter went to school for the first time. I felt like there were soooo many things I wanted to teach her before school started- and believe it or not, letters and numbers were the least of my concerns!
When it comes to school readiness, there are more important things to focus on (things like independence, how to get along with others, and fine motor skills) that will free up the teacher’s time to teach academics. Here’s ten things that you can teach your kids before school starts that your child’s Kindergarten/TK/Pre-K teacher will LOVE you for.