YES! My daughter is going to Kindergarten this year. We are excited and nervous. We are doing what we can to prepare for the transition. I love when companies offer way to help kids prepare in fun and easy ways. Here is one that we are using now.
The Jim Henson Company and PBS KIDS have included some fun ideas from the award-winning Dinosaur Train website that will help children familiarize themselves with and build upon some specific skills, while at the same time enjoying their favorite characters!
Practice reading and speaking. Help your child practice the letters of the alphabet while learning, speaking and singing about the diversity of dinosaurs that once lived on Earth with the “Dinosaurs A – Z song.” Have fun learning about letters, and dinosaurs.
Learn about color. Help your child understand, investigate and make predictions about the science of color, using household basics including food coloring, clean food jars/containers, colored markers and a cookie sheet.
Develop fine motor skills such as coloring; cutting; drawing; buttoning; zippering; building. With Buddy’s help, you can practice some of these skills while making a Stegosaurus Puppet!
Practice gross motor skills such as running, jumping and throwing. Try “Playing Dino Ball Your Way” to improve these skills–and get some exercise too–by inventing the rules for an imaginary game and then playing it!
Explore size and scale. Using illustrations and physical markers, kids can measure out size differences in large dinosaurs to understand their size and scale! Check out the activity “Even Bigger than T.rex!” and have some fun while learning about size.
Of course there are many other important skills for children to be familiar with before starting Kindergarten – these are just a few to have fun with, along with your friends from Dinosaur Train!
Here are some “Get ready for Kindergarten” shopping ideas to help build on some of the above skills or just for play and fun:
DINOSAURS A TO Z from Golden Books by Andrea Posner-Sanchez; illustrated byTerry Izumi.
Meet 26 dinosaurs—one for each letter of the alphabet—in this Dinosaur Train™ alphabet book. Buddy, Mr. Conductor, and the other Dinosaur Train™ characters from the hit PBS Kids® animated series introduce dinos from Apatosaurus to Zigongosaurus! Young paleontologists-in-training will love learning cool facts about 26 amazing dinosaurs. This awesome non-fiction book with a sturdy padded cover makes a great gift!
Ages 3-5; SRP $11.99; 30 pages. Available August 9, 2011.Dinosaurs on Amazon
Crayola Color Wonder Dinosaur Train Coloring Pad & Markers
MEGA BLOKS Dinosaur Train “All Aboard the Dinosaur Train!” from MEGA Brands
All aboard the Dinosaur Train! Have your little dino-engineers join Buddy and Tiny on their adventures through the Age of Dinosaurs with their tour guide Gilbert aboard the Dinosaur Train! Build and rebuild the authentic Dinosaur Train with two observation cars, opening doors and replica brown roof as it pulls into Pteranodon Station to pick up a new group of passengers. Make sure children have their tickets ready so they can visit the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous time periods and meet all kinds of cool dinosaurs with Buddy, Tiny and Gilbert!
• Buildable Dinosaur Train and Pteranodon Station!
• Mr. Conductor sticker and big red wheels that really spin!
• Includes Gilbert, Buddy and Tiny figurines!
• Combine with other toys to mix and match pieces and build your own adventures with Buddy and his family on the Dinosaur Train!
Ages 3+ SRP: $32.99 Available now at Amazon and Toys”R”Us
MEGA BLOKS Buddy from MEGA Brands
Give your little Dinosaur Train fan the chance to join everyone’s favorite T-Rex Buddy to meet, explore, and have adventures with all kinds of friendly dinosaurs aboard The Dinosaur Train! Sit bobble head Buddy in his Dinosaur Train passenger car and get ready to find out all about his favorite prehistoric friends with the included fun and informative dinosaur fact card!
-Buildable Buddy passenger car and scenery block!
-Includes bobble head Buddy figurine! Give him a shake!
-Includes fun dinosaur fact card that teaches all about different types of dinosaurs!
-Combine with other toys to mix and match pieces and build your own adventures with Buddy and his family!
Ages 3+SRP: $6.99Available now at Amazon, Kmart and Toys”R”Us
DINOSAUR TRAIN APPAREL from Kids with Character!
Dinosaur Train’s summer line shirts and pants/shorts sets are great for back to school. Look for NEW Dinosaur Train apparel coming in August and September at Kohls and Kmart.
What I thought: I was super excited to get the above items for my daughter to help with getting ready for school. I also got the adorable clothing for my son, as I didn’t want for him to feel left out. They arrived just as we were heading out for a vacation with my family so we took them along. On our trip we had 6 kids ages ranging from my 23 month old on up to a 7 year old. When I got out the Dinasour Train items I was so happy to see that EVERYONE was excited! It was fun for my toddler, the 7 year old and everyone in between.
The color wonder package was a huge hit! Some were able to identify colors and learn about about staying in the lines (fine motor skills). While others were able to discuss the types of dinosaurs.
The same was true of the awesome A- Z book! The older girls (ages 5 and 7 ) enjoyed trying to read about the dinosaurs and learning about them! The smaller ones enjoyed focusing on the alphabet and identifying objects.
The lego pieces were an excellent addition to our lego collection. It went perfect with the book as we could talk about what we learned while playing with them. How do they act and what do they eat, etc.
The Dinosaur Train clothing was simply adorable! Honestly it was so much fun for me as a mom! But it was fun for him as well because he was so excited about the dinosaurs after learn about them!
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Follow PBS Kids:
Get ready for an all-new season of Dinosaur Train this August with “Dinosaur Big City” which premieres on PBS Kids on August 22; and the DVD release of Dinosaur Train: Dinosaur Big City on August 23 (SRP: $14.99)