By Emily Lemons
Early Childhood Manager
Who doesn’t love a baseball game? Peanuts, crackerjacks, balls and strikes, and… kindergarten readiness? Believe it or not, a visit to the ballpark is a great way to help young children learn valuable skills that will prepare them for school. Young children learn best through exploration and experience, and anytime they visit a new environment, there are many opportunities for learning.
At a baseball game, children learn new words, like “batter,” “strike,” “pitch,” etc. Describing and defining things around them helps to increase vocabulary and prepare for reading and writing. Remembering and retelling the events of an exciting play or inning also builds these skills. Talking about the different team uniforms provides an opportunity for comparing and contrasting, identifying colors, and recognizing symbols.
A view of the baseball field can also provide opportunities to recognize, compare, and name a variety of shapes. Keeping up with strikes, balls, runs, and outs helps children practice two important kindergarten skills: counting and focused attention. Even climbing the steps and running the bases after the game are helpful in developing gross motor skills in young children! Going to a game as a family provides quality time, conversation, and fun that will give your child the support, courage, and confidence to face new places and challenges!
We believe so strongly in the connection between meaningful experiences in the community that we have made them a part of our kindergarten readiness initiative, Countdown to Kindergarten. Along with a book focused on readiness activities, rising area kindergartners who join the Countdown Club will receive a coupon to visit the Museum and t-shirt that will give them free admission to the Chattanooga Zoo through August 1. We will explore these attractions as “readiness experiences” in upcoming blog posts. Stay tuned!
And for more information on Creative Discovery Museum’s Countdown to Kindergarten program, which is FREE for all children entering Kindergarten in fall 2016, please visit our website.