August is "Get Ready for Kindergarten" month for almost two million American kids who will be entering kindergarten in the fall. Today's collection of websites include a mix of online and offline activities for parents to do with their preschoolers. But remember, although worksheets and online games are fun, reading out loud to your child is the single best way to prepare your kids for school and learning.
"How many M&M's do you think are in this bag?" "How many buttons does Daddy have on his shirt?" Math can be integrated into nearly any everyday activity you do with your preschoolers. To jumpstart your own ideas, CoolMath4Parents organizes dozens of math-learning opportunities by daily activity such as dressing, driving, snacking, etc. The last category, Good Family Games, recommends half a dozen card and board games, including UNO, Yahtzee, and bingo.
These eight printable worksheets will help your child master important pre-kindergarten skills such as tracing, counting, cutting, shapes, colors, telephone number and address. Each is available in both Word and PDF format. For more on kindergarten readiness, follow the links to "Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?" and try the interactive "Kindergarten Readiness Checklist."
"A is for antelope, B is for Bison, C is for crab. " An amazing typographic adventure awaits you at Bembo's Zoo, as you watch each letter of the alphabet transform into a wild animal right before your eyes and ears. This Flash animation for all ages is based on the book of the same name, by graphic artist Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich. Don't miss it!
CountDownToKindergarten.com offers a year's worth of monthly activities with corresponding book lists. "Besides being fun, these activities introduce four- and five-year olds to the kind of learning skills they'll be developing further in kindergarten." August is "All About Me" month and the activity is making a book about your child. Each monthly packet is available in PDF for easy printing. I really like the way the recommended books integrate with the monthly topics.
This collection of fifteen number games from the Australian Broadcasting Company is terrific; I only wish they had more descriptive titles, and some sound or music. For counting beginners, games one, five and eight are my favorites. All the games are available for free download, so they can be played offline on either a Mac or Windows computer. For a description of each game, click on the yellow "games" menu item.