We are skipping at a frightening pace towards my eldest starting school now. The summer holidays are here, and parents with older children are wondering what to do with six weeks at home entertaining their kids while I try to soak up every second of my wee man before classroom antics turn him into a 12 year old in a heartbeat. Next year I will be that Mum…but for now, it is school that is on my mind this summer and one question; IS HE READY?
Now, as someone who worked in a Reception class and knows lots of lovely Reception teachers, rest assured…NOTHING IS EXPECTED of them in terms of letters and numbers when they start school. The teacher will start at the beginning, counting to ten and teaching the letters and sounds one by one. However that doesn’t stop me wanting to give Ewan a head start! 😉
The crucial point is this though, as it is with all my games. Only if he WANTS to. The games are there to provide fun and entertainment for us all. The letter and number bits I put into them are there as a way to bring those vital educational elements into our play without it detracting from the joy. Learning through play always.
So Ewan loves his numbers but STILL skips 15 in his count to 20, so this little game was devised to help with that. As usual I laid it out on the lounge floor, then sometime later he trotted up to it and said “is this a game Mummy?’ (he knows the score by now!) and I said “yes it is, would you like to play?” and he said “yep” so I said “great, let’s play this and when we are done we can all have juice and a biscuit” and that is basically how our days go…!
The school fair inspired this game…TOY TOMBOLA
- Write numbers on a bit of paper. Go up to the number you think your child will be able to do confidently. For Ewan I did 1-20.
- Cut the numbers up and fold into quarters and pop into a bag or box.
- Grab the corresponding number of toys/items. I used Paw Patrol cards and small toys. Lay them out in a line.
- The game is pick a “ticket” from the bag and open it (fine motor skills required to unfold the paper – tick!) and then count along the line to see which toy they’ve ‘won’
- Put the number next to the toy and choose again until they are all done.
For very little ones who are JUST starting numbers you could number the toys too and they have to match them up to their ticket.
Incredibly simple. But you’ll be amazed how playing little games like this for five minutes a day can make a world of difference. If you do one five minute game a day for the year before they start school, that is 30 hours! 30 hours of teaching already under their belts. A whole weeks worth. And that, to a little person, is a massive great big jump two footed into school life, and as parents that’s the best we can do.