It's not long now until kids start getting ready to go back to school, and for us it is quite significant as Ethan will be starting at a new preschool. He has been going to nursery already, but we are beginning to prepare him for the upcoming changes. One of the things that we've been doing is playing this memory game to get him thinking about school and making the transition as well as working on his recall skills at the same time.
I started by asking Ethan about what he likes to do at nursery now, a great activity in itself as it's always so difficult to get him to talk about what he does there! He said that he likes painting, writing, baking, play dough, trains, dinosaurs and building. We then looked around through our toys to find something to represent each activity. He chose a paint brush, pencil, measuring spoon, play dough, train, dinosaur and building block. Then I told him that they would have all of these activities and more at his new preschool as well. His face lit up when he heard that, he really was surprised to know that he would still be able to do all of his favourite things.
Then it was time for the memory game, I explained the game to Ethan and that he would have to remember all of the items on the tray as I would be taking one away and he would have to tell me which one is missing. So Ethan covered his eyes and I took an item off the tray.
It took Ethan a couple of turns to really get the hang of it, but he came up with different strategies to help himself to remember. He would name all of the other items on the tray and then ask himself what else was there. I also told him that it might help to point to the spot where the missing item was, and to think about if he could picture it in that spot in his head. He would also ask for clues if he really could not remember, which always helped him to quickly guess the correct item.
Of course then he wanted to turn the tables on me and have me guess which item he was taking away. He got such a kick out of it and thought it was really funny if I struggled to guess the item. I was then also able to model the techniques that I would use to remember where the items were. It gave Ethan a chance to give me some clues as well, my favourite was for the paint brush when he said 'you use it to paint!' We may have to work a bit more on giving clues, ha ha!
Ethan really enjoyed his memory game and even brought it out to play again later on and to show Daddy when he got home for work. He also added more items to the tray to make it even trickier to play. I love that it gave us a chance to really talk about all of the things that he enjoys about nursery, and hopefully if we keep playing throughout the summer holidays he will become even more comfortable with the transition to his new school.
If you're looking for more fun activities for back to school look no further, here's 20 more ideas from some fabulous bloggers!
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
School Bus Color Match Puzzles // Modern Preschool
3 Word Cloud Back to School Puzzles // Lalymom
Back to School Process Art // Still Playing School
Morning Routine Story Stones // Sugar Aunts
Fun Ways to Teach Kids to Pack Their Lunch // Study at Home Mama
Easy, Kid-Made Phone Number Bracelets // Mama. Papa. Bubba.
Back to School Bingo // Playdough to Plato
Back to School I Spy // The Pleasantest Thing
ABC Photo Book // Powerful Mothering
Back to School Puzzles for Counting to 10 // Life Over C's
Patterns with Erasers // Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Shape Puzzles Busy Bag // Teach Me Mommy
Back to School Name Practice with Playdough // Stay at Home Educator
Back to School File Folder Games // Itsy Bitsy Fun
Back to School Mapping Our Classroom // Liz's Early Learning Spot
Back to School Teacher Gift // Think Magnet
Free Back to School Memory Book // DIY Farm Wife
Flower Craftivity // Fairy Poppins
Free Alphabet Book // The Kindergarten Connection
Back to School Memory Game // Play and Learn Everyday
DIY Name Stamps // Preschool Inspirations