Before we dive into the many reasons why Kindergarten is beneficial and how you can celebrate #NationalKindergartenDay, let’s discuss the origins of the holiday.
National Kindergarten Day honors the birth date of Friedrich Wilhelm August Frobel. Frobel is credited for starting the first Kindergarten in Germany in 1837. Frobel was a German teacher and recognized that young children learn through play and experience. Although his teaching methods were regarded as unorthodox and were eventually banned by the Prussian government, the rest of the world got on board.
So what’s to miss about Kindergarten? Let’s see: recess, naptime, story time, snack time, etc. Basically, all of the fun, break times that you are no longer awarded in adult life. Amongst those, one of my favorites would have to be story time. Unfortunately, after Kindergarten, I can remember story time becoming solitary and assignment-based; it was no longer the interactive group time that I adored. I can understand why: kids need to learn how to read on their own and gain confidence in their reading abilities. But, data from the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™ shows that reading aloud to kids increases their chances of becoming lifelong readers and seeking books on their own. Isn’t that what we all want- especially for our young readers who are born into a world suffocated by technology? If you take a peek at the data, 87% of kids ages 6-11 love(d) or like(d) read- aloud time and 72% enjoyed read- aloud time with their parents because it was a “special time together.” Parents themselves have increasingly become more involved in reading aloud to their kids. In 2016, 62% of the parents surveyed with kids ages 3-5 said they read aloud to their children 5-7 days a week. Unfortunately, that frequency decreases dramatically after ages 5 and 8, precisely around the same time that read- aloud time diminishes in school. So in honor of National Kindergarten Day, I urge we continue the Kindergarten tradition of reading aloud to the kids, in and outside of school.
On to the “fun” stuff- if you’re looking for ways to celebrate National Kindergarten Day with your class or kids, you can pick up one of these titles below or check out this list and have a read-aloud time of your own!
How will you celebrate #NationalKindergartenDay?