Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten To make the transition into kindergarten as smooth as possible, you can refer to the list below to help prepare your child in a range of developmental areas.
Social/Emotional Development o Encourage your child to persist in tasks when encountering a problem by giving him tasks slightly above his current ability level. When your child cannot find a solution on his own, encourage him to calmly ask for help. o Play board games to practice taking turns. o Set up several play dates with friends of various ages. o Allow your child to stay with other trusted adults for a few hours at a time prior to kindergarten (especially if she has rarely been in the care of someone other than mom and dad). o Tell your child you expect him/her to clean up after play. You could implement a ransom box for toys left out like this one: www.madsmemories.blogspot.com/2009/08/moms-ransom-rubbage.html
Language Development o Verbally give your child specific one-step and two-step directions and encourage him to follow through. o Read to your child for a combined total of at least 20 minutes each day. o While reading, point out how to hold a book (right-side up with the spine on the left) and the orientation in which we read the words and look at the pictures (left to right). o After reading, ask your child what happened in the beginning, middle, and end of the story. o Give your child plenty of opportunities to draw (without coloring books). Ask him/her to draw the things they see around them. o Teach your child the uppercase and lowercase letters and, most importantly, the sounds each letter makes through play and games. For some ideas click here: www.icanteachmychild.com/alphabet
Cognitive Development o Have your child help you sort items according to color, size, and shape (laundry, blocks, silverware, toys, and other household items work well). o Teach your child to make various patterns (red, blue, red, blue). Garage sale dot stickers or craft pom-poms are great for this purpose. o Practice counting aloud to 20 while driving in the car. o Teach your child numerals 1-10. For suggestions on how to do this, click here: www.icanteachmychild.com/numbers o Count objects in your home. Have your child point to each object as they count. o Go on a shape hunt. Point out circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles to your child while you are taking or walk or grocery shopping. o Talk about positional and directional concepts like up/down, over/under, in/out, behind/in front of, top/bottom, beside/between, off/on, stop/go. o Talk about opposite words (big/little, empty/full, slow/fast).
Physical Development (Gross & Fine Motor) o Give your child plenty of opportunities for outdoor play: running, jumping, and climbing. o Play catch on a regular basis. o Practice skipping. o Stack blocks together. o Let your child use child-safe scissors to cut out a variety of shapes. o Teach your child to write their name (capital for the first letter and lowercase for the remaining letters). To start, write his name using a highlighter and encourage them to trace over it. Be sure that he forms the letters from the top to the bottom. o Ensure your child is holding their pencil correctly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIxUtwO29r8 o Play with playdough regularly. Roll, squish, stamp, and even cut it! o Encourage your child to cut out various shapes using child-safe scissors. o String large beads to make a necklace. o Play with an interlocking puzzle together.
Creative Arts o Always encourage pretend play...occasionally join your child in his fantasy world. o Teach your child to recognize the following colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, white, brown, and pink. For help, go to: www.icanteachmychild.com/colors o Use a variety of materials to let your child paint, draw and explore!
This list was created based upon the following: http://www.icanteachmychild.com/2012/03/71-things-your-child-needs-to-know- before-kindergarten/