Recently, I wrote an article for a website about preparing young children with special needs for mainstream kindergarten. Needless to say, this had me thinking about the skills I would hope all children entering kindergarten would have. Before entering kindergarten, most 4-5 year olds should have the ability to speak in sentences, understand the sequence of story, process a story told by another person, and the ability to relate a familiar story to someone else.
The activity below can be done with children younger than 4 as well. Toddlers love having photographs to remind them of the important people in their lives and the activities they’ve done. 2s and 3s can answer specific questions about events, people and materials. Many 3 year olds love telling stories and seeing their words written on paper. Though most can not tell a story in a linear (events in the right order) fashion. This is also a terrific activity for children with special needs. Caregivers and therapists can concentrate on eye contact, answering and asking questions about specific events, and picking up on visual cues in photographs. Give it a try!
What You’ll Need:
-paper and a pen
-tape or glue
In the morning, make a plan for the day. Take pictures at each of the activities. The next day, print the pictures and make a book. Your child should tell the story while you write it. Have them try to do this without looking at the photos. If they are having difficulty, let them look at the photographs you’ve take. For children who still find this challenging, try making the book at the end of the same day you’ve done the activities. If they are able, have your child help write some of the words. Children who like drawing can make pictures to go along with the story. Let your child “read” the story to others. Try it again on another day.