Page the Puppy is a free kindergarten readiness initiative that is currently in Elkhart and Goshen Community Schools.
We've partnered with local educators to identify the most critical skills for kindergarten success. Page the Puppy is a series of four free bilingual (English & Spanish) children's books, each with activities that parents and children can complete together to develop skills needed to enter kindergarten.
Page the Puppy Kit Activities
We hope you will enjoy Page the Puppy kits. Your child will have an opportunity to build their own Page at the Kindergarten Orientation at Elkhart and Goshen Schools. We can’t wait to see you there!
Please help us make the next generation of Page, the Puppy kits even better! Click the button below to complete a brief three-question survey
Scroll down for games, activities, and parenting tips from local early childhood organizations or click here to download the activities.
Games that build self-regulation and social emotional skills:
Seastar and Tornadoes
The goal: To help children notice how much energy they’re feeling inside. When they know they have too much energy, they can either use their own calming skills or ask for help from a trusted adult.
How to play: Draw a picture of a thermometer. Draw a seastar at the bottom and a tornado at the top. Ask if your child feels calm and peaceful like a starfish or revved up like a tornado. When your child is feeling over-energized, brainstorm together about ways to feel more like a seastar. For example, bouncing a ball to help release some of that energy.
Try playing this game at different times of the day and help your child describe the energy levels. For, example, if you play first thing in the morning, you can say, “You like to snuggle and watch cartoons.”
Keeping in mind: Self-awareness can help kids build a skill called self-regulation. Self-regulation is about managing your internal energy. It helps kids manage their emotions and their body movements during situations. It also helps them pay attention and learn.
Who Am I Right Now?
The goal: To build self-awareness and help identify your child’s strengths. These skills can help with decision making and understanding the perspective of others.
How to play: Get some index cards. Use them to draw pictures of your child doing something positive, like being a good helper or being a good teacher. Brainstorm about other cards your child could make.
To help your child come up with ideas, comment whenever you notice your child’s positive behaviors: “You just offered to teach your sister a nursery rhyme. Let’s talk for a second about what kind of person you’re being right now.”
Keep in mind: Many families try to teach social-emotional skills by commenting on negative behavior. But don’t forget to catch your child doing something good. Praising good behavior often leads to more of it.
This parenting tip is brought to you by Gr8t Beginnings, a collaborative Early Childhood Coalition led by Crossroads United Way
Activity: Make Patterns
Materials you will need:
- Spoons, forks, table (not sharp) knives
- Other kitchen items to make patterns with coffee mugs, paper plates and napkins, etc.
Enjoy exploring patterns with your preschooler while you are working in the kitchen.
- Set out spoons, forks and table knives on a table or counter.
- Make a simple pattern (fork, spoon, fork, spoon) and ask your child to copy your pattern.
- Ask your child to make a pattern and copy your child’s pattern.
- Try out more complicated patterns with more kitchen materials: fork, fork, knife, cup; fork, fork, knife, cup
While doing this activity, I am learning…
Listening and Comprehension
- Talking with a caring adult and sharing his or her own ideas and experiences.
- Using common household materials to create patterns
- Using movement to create patterns
- Finding patterns all around the house
- Using fine-motor skills to move objects into patterns on tabletop
- Using gross-motor skills to make movement patterns
Quilts and baskets, braided hair.
We find patterns everywhere.
Clapping, chanting, singing songs.
Patterns make our math skills strong.
Find patterns with your child. Patterns are regular, predictable arrangements of things. Objects, numbers, shapes, sounds, actions or events can make a pattern.
For more pattern fun:
With your child make up a pattern of movements: arms up, arms down, kick a leg; arms up, arms down, kick a leg
With your hands, tap out a pattern of beats on table: soft tap, soft tap, 3 loud taps; soft tap, soft tap, 3 loud taps
Preschoolers need opportunities to engage in a variety of experiences with patterns in music and movement, art, playing with blocks and stories. Through these experiences, they learn to recognize and create patterns.
What preschoolers like to do…
- Enjoy singing songs and re-telling stories with repetitive rhymes and words
- Begin to identify patterns in their environment
- Learn to copy simple, repeating patterns
- Begin to describe patterns and extend patterns that have been created for them
This activity is brought to you by Elkhart/St. Joseph Counties Head Start Consortium. Information from: High Five, Mathematize - An Early Head Start and Head Start Math Resource Guide, National Head Start Family Literacy Center, 2010.
Paper Plate Emotions Masks
Materials you will need:
- Paper plates
- Scissors, tape
- Large craft sticks or sticks from your backyard
- Markers and or crayons
Activity: Recognizing emotions and creating masks to represent them
Cut four paper plates in half. Show your child how to tape the stick on the half plate. Let them try to tape the other three. Each mask will represent one of the following emotions: happy, mad, sad, and silly. Have your child show you what each emotion would look like. Then, have your child create each emotion on a mask using the crayons and markers.
You can use these masks while reading, (hold up the mask that shows how the main character is feeling). These masks are also a great tool for talking about feelings.
While doing this activity, I am learning to:
- Listen to and follow directions
- Answer questions posed by adults or peers, ask questions for understanding and clarity, and communicate actively
- Identify own emotions and those of others, predict reactions from others
- Use a variety of props to demonstrate themes about life experiences, ideas and feelings, participate freely in dramatic play experiences that become of increased duration and complexity.
- Perform fine motor tasks that require small muscle control and strength, coordinate movements to perform a complex task
This activity is brought to you by Campus Center for Young Children
Create a special space in your house for your child. Find a spot in your home (bedroom, living room, etc.) where you can display things like your child’s art, house rules, feelings chart, and word wall. It can have anything that is important to you and your child. Corners work well for this area.
Anytime your child needs a break, wants some time alone, needs to be reminded of the rules, or just wants to relax they can go to their own space. Have your child pick out some comforting items and place them in the space where they want.
- Create a sign for the area with your child. This should be the name of your child’s area. “Your Child’s Name” Space. Help your child draw block letters of their name and the word space. Have them color the letters and cut them out.
- House Rules: Create a chart that has the most important house rules. You can use this chart to remind them of the house rules in order to redirect unwanted behavior.
- Feeling Chart: For each feeling, write the name of the feeling at the bottom of a piece of paper. Draw a blank face above the word. Talk about the feeling with your child by asking what the feeling looks like and when they might feel that way. Have your child draw what the feeling looks like on the blank face. Post the feeling on the wall.
This parenting tip is brought to you by Walnut Hill Early Childhood Center
Check out some of the following resources to help your child be ready for Kindergarten:
- Free SparKits Learning Experience
Partner with us
We would love to bring Page the Puppy to all local children entering kindergarten! Contact us if you would like partner with us to expand the program.