Trips and Tips

Pre -K Tips and Trips

 December 2015

 The best thing to spend on your child is time.”


 Puppet Works is a fabulous marionette company. The company is currently presenting “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and the “Snow Queen.” The theater is located at the Mersles Studio, Jersey City Theater Center, 339 Newark Ave, and Jersey City on Sundays at 1:00 through December 13th.

 Montclair Art Museum has an exhibit highlighting the works of Eric Carle, renowned children’s book author and illustrator. He is one of the pre-k’s favorite authors. Your child has or will be introduced to such favorites as “The Grouchy Lady Bug”, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, “Rooster Off to See The World”, “The Very Busy Spider” and so many more of his beloved books.The Museum is located at 3 South Mountain Ave., Montclair, New Jersey. The exhibit runs through January 3, 2016. Admission. Family Guide can be downloaded.

 Trailside Nature Center has weekend hikes,workshops, and exhibits for families. The Center is located at 452 New Providence Rd., Mountainside, New Jersey.  trailside


Article of the Month:


 Parent/Child Homework: Whether you’re going on a long trip or just running errands,these car games are perfect for helping your child get ready to read! We are always looking for fun and playful learning activities to do in the car. With young children, I know how important it is to develop phonological awareness. So, we came up with 10 playful phonological awareness activities to enjoy when traveling in the car or riding on a bus.

Phonological awareness… what’s that?

Phonological awareness is one of 5 things your child needs to be able to do before they are ready to sound out words. It is the ability to hear differences in the ways words sound.

Just as young children need to hear language before they can talk, they also need to hear language before they can read.

Children with phonological awareness can:

  • identify initial sounds in words
  • count syllables in words
  • identify words that rhyme

Having a strong phonological awareness is a precursor to being a strong reader!

10 Phonological Activities for the Car

1. I Spy in the Car
Say,“I spy something in the car that begins with /s/.” Let your child guess the object. For /s/ it might be seat or seat belt. Take turns being the caller and the finder.

2. Count the words.
Have your child make two fists. Say a sentence and then have your child say it with you. As each word is said, tell your child to put up one finger. Count how many words are in the sentence. This activity helps your child build an awareness of words.

3. Clap the syllables.

Take#2 a step further. Clapping is a fun hands-on way to determine parts(syllables) of a word. Say a word and have your child clap the parts of the word.

4. Listen to and sing along with music.

Singing children’s songs is a fun, joyful way to help your child develop auditory memory, expression, and language development.

Create a new play list of music for the car. When traveling play these .You can make this a joint activity by having everyone sing along with the music.

5. Play rhyming games.

See Number 1 and change to rhymes.

Recite nursery rhymes and sing songs that rhyme.Play I” m thinking of something that rhymes with star, you can ride in it, it is a _________(car).  The rhyming possibilities are endless, but here are a few- don’t make a fuss, let’s ride on a bus, ball -tall, cat-fat, bee-tree, boy-toy, red-bed, fun-sun, fish-wish, house-mouse,box-fox, etc

6. Play with beginning sounds.

Have your child name something they see outside their window. Repeat the word and ask, “What sound do you hear at the beginning of ______?” Then, say the word again and let your child respond with the correct beginning sound.

7. Create tongue twisters.

Alliteration is the repetition of a sound in a sentence. It is also known as a tongue twister. Name the color of the car in front of you and determine the beginning sound of that color. Then, create a tongue twister with that same sound. Let each person in the car try to say the tongue twister. Who can say it the fastest?     Red racers rode recklessly round and round.

8.“Stretch it Like a Rubber Band”.

For this activity you will say a short word such as bed, fun, or cat.Have your child use their hands to stretch the word out like a rubber band and say each sound he hears in the word.

9. “Name That Sound.”

This game involves listening and speaking. Ask your child to be very quiet and listen for sounds on your trip. When she hears a sound, have her name it. For example, she might hear the beep-beep of a horn. Then, have her tell you the beginning or ending sound of the object that made that sound. In this example the beginning sound is /h/ and the ending sound is /n/.

Play these phonological awareness games in the car to help your child develop pre-reading skills!

10.“Retell favorite stories.

Retell favorite fairy tales or stories. For example when retelling the “The Three Little Pigs”, let your child join in the retelling and the refrain: “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down. Etc

This activity helps your child learn to sequence stories and use expression and fluency when joining in the refrain.