The Goldilocks Rule
November 16, 2012
The Goldilocks Rule is a tool to help you find a “just right” or “best fit” book, toy or game for your child’s current learning level. (How could you forget the classic fairy tale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, where the little girl, Goldilocks, tries to find things in the Bears’ house that fit her “just right”?) If your choice of book, toy or game is too easy, your little learner may become bored. Likewise, if the activity is too difficult, the child could get frustrated.
Children come to school with different ability levels. The toys you choose for your child will differ slightly according to his or her needs, but one goal remains the same: aim to get your child reading, writing and counting.
- Consult your child’s teacher. He or she may have recommendations that will reinforce concepts being learned in the classroom.
- Get back to the basics. Board games offer an excellent way to reinforce reading and counting, and in addition, they teach strategy and social skills.
- Kids love technology. In my classroom, tech-based learning tools like Tag and Leapster Explorer really grab the attention of my students.
- Music is win-win. Give the gift of joy and lifelong learning with fun music on CD or download. Kids at this age really enjoy having their own music playlists. I recommend KIDZ BOP; it’s always a crowd pleaser.
- Kids like writing…when it’s fun. Look for activities that make writing fun: from sidewalk chalk to non-toxic markers to oversized paper and their first diaries. Kids will enjoy creating comics, telling stories and writing their daily adventures.
- As a Kinder teacher myself, I believe that books are the best gifts of all. You can never have too many or go wrong with a good book. From physical books to eBooks to books that read to you, there’s something for everyone. Also choose a subject that interests the children. Are they into dinosaurs? Trains? Fairytales? Science-fiction? Non-fiction?
Overall, look for fun ways to engage your young learner. We want kids to LOVE learning, so keep the activities at their “just right” level.
I hope the Goldilocks Rule and my other ideas help you find the perfect gift for your kindergartner this holiday season.
- Letter of the Day interactive software
- Crayola Dry-Erase markers and supplies
- The music of KIDZ BOP
- Tag Reading System
- Leapster Explorer learning game system
Shelby Moore is in her seventh year teaching kindergarten at an inner-city school in Houston and was recently awarded as one of the East Region's Campus Teachers of the Year. Shelby lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, baby and Labradoodle.
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