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Parental Involvement in Kindergarten Show & Tells

by Sara Ipatenco

Most kindergartners enjoy a chance to take something to school to share with their teacher and classmates. Though show and tell is entertaining for most children, it has educational and social benefits, as well. The quality of your child's show and tell experiences can be even higher if you, as the parent, become involved in the process of selecting and sharing a special object to take to school.

Show and Tell Benefits

When your kindergartner gets up in front of her class and shares something special, it encourages her to get comfortable speaking in front of a group of her peers. It also allows the children to get a glimpse into the lives of one another, which can foster new friendships and bonds between classmates. Students often bring in cultural items or objects their peers have never seen. In these instances, kindergartners have the opportunity to act as the teacher and educate their peers. Over time, students learn a great deal that isn't part of the classroom curriculum.

Parental Involvement Benefits

Children with parents involved in their education typically have higher test scores, get along better with their friends and have fewer behavior problems in the classroom, according to the Michigan Department of Education. When you become more involved in your kindergartner's education, he's more likely to have high self-esteem and less likely to use drugs or alcohol later in life, as well. Taking part in your kindergartner's show and tell, in particular, can help expand his vocabulary as you discuss the object he's taking. It also gives you a chance to practice what he'll say, which can reduce performance anxiety. The simple act of helping your child choose a show and tell object teaches cooperation and decision-making skills, too.

Tips

Encourage your child to choose a show and tell object that correlates with what she's learning at school. For example, if she's learning about outer space, she might take a toy telescope, or if she's learning about butterflies, she might share a photograph of a butterfly. When you take the time to make these connections between school and home, you're encouraging higher academic success. You might also help build recognition and thinking skills by challenging your kindergartner to find an object based on certain characteristics. For example, ask your child to find something that's blue and shaped like a circle or something that starts with the letter "p." You might even ask your child to think of a favorite song or rhyme to share. Once your child chooses what she wants to share, pretend to be a classmate and ask her to practice describing it to you.

Considerations

Keep a few things in mind when you're helping your child choose a show and tell object, to prevent mishaps. Consider items that aren't allowed at your kindergartner's school or in his classroom. For example, many schools prohibit children from bringing toy weapons such as swords and squirt guns. Steer your child away from items that can cause potential embarrassment, as well. While your child's naked newborn picture might be adorable to you and your child, chances are his classmates will laugh if he tries to share it with them.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

Photo Credits

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