Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Could Your Child Contact You in an Emergency?



Your child's ability to say your phone number is not only developmentally appropriate around the age of 4 or 5, but it's a safety issue too.

I was talking with some mom friends the other day and one recalled a recent incident where her daughter (we'll call her E2 because that is one of her nicknames!) needed to use this skill. E2 was playing on a playground at a theme park with a friend and the parents were talking on one side of the playground. The two friends went down a slide and ended up on the other side of the playground and couldn't find their parents. A friendly adult saw that they were lost and was about to get an employee to help but E2 said "I know my dad's phone number, we could call him." With that information, this adult allowed her to use a cell phone, she called her dad and the families were reunited with no stress or fanfair!

Could your child call you if they were lost?

It is a long number but is broken into three chunks (if you use 10 digit dialing like we do here, only two chunks if you use 7 digit dialing). You can teach the sets individually and then put them together. Or you can try the whole thing all at once. Repetition is important, even after your child knows it. Practice frequently! When a child is stressed (and getting lost is an emergency that causes stress!), even familiar information can be difficult to remember.


My Phone Number Song


A fun way to practice your phone number is in a song. The 10 digits fit nicely into the tune of "Are You Sleeping." Here is a pretend number phone (originally I had my cell number there but decided against it!)

"407 - 407
123 - 123
4567 - 4567
That's mom's cell! That's mom's cell"



I practiced with Big Sister by first singing the whole song to her. Then, on the second round I sang the first part and she did the echo. We sang it that way quite a few times. After that I'd hum the tune and she would sing.

Now, she doesn't need to use the song, she just says the number.


I feel so much better knowing that if she got lost, she could call me!


If your child is struggling with this skill after practicing for a few weeks, pause and come back to it. Point out all of the times that you use it and instead of using your "Favorites" to call home, actually type in the numbers calling them out as you tap the buttons. You can have your child dial it as you say it to her. Or dial as many digits as she knows and then you help her finish by telling the next numbers.


It's always better to learn why something is important to know than to just be told that you need to know it. Make it a practical, real life skill. And make it fun!

Have fun singing! Do you know any other tunes that work well with phone numbers?









Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, May 7, 2015

How to Easily Learn Important Numbers using Pass Codes


using a pass code to teach important numbers as a part of before kindergarten skills

As a part of my Before Kindergarten - Developmental Skills Your Child Needs Before Kindergarten, I am excited to share one of my most favorite activities for teaching your child your address. This is one of those numbers that you think about, write and say fairly frequently and is one of the most important numbers for your child to know for safety's sake. If your child gets lost, one of the things that an officer will ask is if your child knows your address (and phone number, but that post is coming soon!).

I remember a few months ago, Big Sister and I were going over the numbers in our address. We probably said them 100 times but still when I asked "What's your address?" she didn't know. Then one day it struck me: Make it the pass code to get on your iPad! So, that's what I did. And sure enough, she knew it in less than 5 minutes.

using a pass code to teach important numbers as a part of before kindergarten skills




We were doing an activity that caused the iPad to turn off after inactivity so she needed to reenter the information many times. She would run over to me and ask what the code was, I told her the numbers and reminded her it was our address. After a few times (since she was highly motivated to learn it!), she didn't need me to tell her the numbers.

The easiest way, I think, is to make your address the pass code to get onto a favorite piece of technology. If your game systems or phones or other devices do not require pass codes, here is a way you can do it at home.


Pass Code Cards

You can get the Pass Code Cards here.

We used them to memorize and then practice our address and other important numbers like birthdays.


 First, start off with the basics: number recognition. You can either print off multiple copies of the Pass Code Card that is the correct number of digits for your address (or other important number) or you can use little squares of paper with the numbers written on them.

Since Big Sister already knows our address, I decided to work on another important address. We reviewed the numbers and then put them on the Pass Code Card spaces.


using a pass code to teach important numbers as a part of before kindergarten skills

Later, I mixed them up and she had to put them in the correct order.


using a pass code to teach important numbers as a part of before kindergarten skills

Finally, I taped the Pass Code Cards in various places around the house where she likes to go. In order for her to enter (or get a desired object), she has to say the pass code! The Pass Code Card is a cue or reminder for what she needs to say.

using a pass code to teach important numbers as a part of before kindergarten skillsusing a pass code to teach important numbers as a part of before kindergarten skills


If your child is struggling, start by having all of the numbers written out and have your child read them off to you. Slowly remove the numbers, starting with the last number, until she can confidently read the beginning numbers and remember the last number. Then remove another number (the next to last number) until she can confidently read the beginning numbers and remember the last two numbers.  Keep removing numbers until you have a blank Pass Code Card and your child can confidently say your address! This could take many days or be complete in one lesson. Go at your child's pace!

Another good time to practice your address is while you are driving or walking down your street. You can ask and have your child say the numbers in your address before you can see your house and the numbers!


Just for Fun! 

We used the 3 digit Pass Code Card to practice spelling words with magnetic letters. I grabbed a baggie of magnetic letters and we dumped them out on the table. Then we went ahead and spelled words with them, sounding out the letters as we dragged the letters to the Pass Code Card. We had a great time.


using a pass code to teach important numbers as a part of before kindergarten skillsusing a pass code to teach important numbers as a part of before kindergarten skills

For older kids working on spelling words, you could make these cards and put them around the house and have them spell their spelling words as the Pass Code to get in a room or get a desired object! It would make practicing spelling more fun!


I am sure there are lots of ways to use the Pass Code Cards! How will you use them?


using a pass code to teach important numbers as a part of before kindergarten skills

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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