Looking to help your child improve his sequencing skills? Here is a fun hands-on learning game that will improve your child’s skills using their favorite children’s songs.
Why is sequencing important anyway?
Helping your child learn to sequence is important for several reasons. First of all, sequencing allows your child to manage his time effectively, and helps him see the relationship between actions and consequences. A child who has difficulty in this area will be consistently “time challenged.”
They will be late to school, late coming home, or will take longer than necessary to complete an assignment because they are unable to estimate how much time something should take.
Strong sequencing skills allows him to communicate meaningfully with others, whether it is with words, sentences, or paragraphs. Children who are weak in this area will start a joke with the punchline. Their stories will be jumbled and difficult to understand because they find it difficult to present events in the order in which they occurred.
Good sequencing skills also means your child will be able to make a better connection between his actions and the consequences that naturally follow. Children with weak sequencing skills will sometimes appear as if they never learn from their mistakes. Despite warnings, threats, and punishments, they seem intent on repeating the same ineffective behaviors time and time again.
By playing this hands-on learning game with your child, you will find both your child’s ability to learn and his behavior will show an improvement.
For this game you will use songs which use sequencing, plus you will need to make pictures to go along with them. For children under 5, or more challenged children, try Raffi’s “Brown bear.” For children 5 and up, try Fred Koch’s “I had a rooster,” or “Today is Monday.”
More advanced children can try “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.” Any song that uses a sequence of objects, and is easy to understand, can be used.
You will need to write down in order all of the objects that are named, and find clear pictures for each one. Each picture should not be smaller in size than a playing card. Each picture should also be on a separate piece of paper. You can laminate each picture or print it out on card stock for durability.
How to play:
Listen to the song once with your child in order to help familiarize her with the song. As each item is mentioned, lay it in front of your child. Most of the songs add a new item, and then repeat the previous ones. When this occurs, your child should point to each object in order.
For example, in “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly,” by the time you get to the cat, you will have in front of you a fly, spider, bird, and the cat. You will add the cat when the singer sings it, and then you will point to the cat, the bird, the spider, and the fly.
After you’ve done it once, let your child try it out. Here are some variations on the game you can use to make this game harder or easier:
- To make the game harder, do not use pictures, but ask your child to tell you the names of the animals, forwards and backwards. You can make it easier for him by giving him a hint-the first letter of each word.
- To make it easier, let your child sequence the pictures as the song is being sung. You can stop the song to give your child time to lay out the picture. You can make it slightly harder by asking your child to sequence the animals after they’ve heard the song.