Summertime is here! While this can be a time to have fun adventures with your kids this is also the perfect time to help prepare your child for the transition to kindergarten. We have provided you with some some things that you can do at home to help get them ready.
Chat it up:
By regularly interacting with your children you can help build up their word bank. Whether you are the grocery store, the park, or on a walk, those back-and-forth conversations are so important. Talk to them often because the more words they child know, the better they will do academically.
Reading to your child teaches them many things that even adults take for granted. Kids can learn some basics like how to hold a book properly, the concept of left to right reading, wondering what will happen next, as well as discovering new words. You should read aloud to them every day. This is the easiest way to get your child ready for school. It also helps give you some extra one on one time with you little one.
Practice Independent Tasks
When your child is at school without you, they need to be able to do the following things independently:
- eating lunch (opening juice boxes)
- following two-step directions
- separating from parents
- going to the bathroom (unbuttoning and fastening pants)
- dressing (changing clothes, zipping coats, and fastening shoes)
- knowing his full name and phone number
Take this time to help them practice doing these tasks independently so they are ready for their first day.
Have Dress Rehearsals
Prepare your child for what to expect in kindergarten:
- Try organizing play dates with their future classmates.
- Take a tour of the school- Talk about what to expect during their school day.
- Play “kindergarten” at home.
- Think of a fun way to say good-bye and hello- maybe come up with a secret handshake to do when you drop off and pick up.
- Above all, be enthusiastic about what is to come during the upcoming school year.
Play and Learn
Children learn through play. When your child is playing, see if you can weave in some learning by introducing new words and concepts, and helping them stretch their thinking.
For example, here are some ways you can incorporate learning when your child is playing with cars:
- “Did you know that a someone who fixes cars is called a mechanic? Want to pretend to be mechanics?”
- “Let’s see if we can draw a car.”
- “Let’s build our own car out of boxes or legos”
- “How many cars do you have? Lets see how many we can count”
- “How many green cars can we count?”
- “What other words rhyme with car? How about jar, star, …?”
- “What letter sound does car start with? What other words start with that letter?”
Practice Facts and Figures
Is your child able to count to ten? Are they able to recognize numbers when they are written? If not this is a chance to work on these skills. You should also try to focus on teaching them basic shapes, colors, and sorting for numeracy readiness. For literacy readiness, be sure your child knows the alphabet, how to write her own name, how to rhyme, and at least some of the letter sounds.
Take Field Trips
Studies show that children who have some of background knowledge have better vocabularies and more advanced reading skills. So believe it or not, taking trips to the zoo, shopping at the farmers market, or adventures at the beach count as kindergarten prep. They’re building your child’s background knowledge.
Focus On Big and Small Movements
Fine motor skills and gross motor skills take intention and repetition. Practice cutting and drawing lines — both squiggly and straight — to build those fine motor skills. For gross motor skills, help your child hop, jump, run, kick a ball, and catch a ball. Watch their balance and coordination improve as you practice these skills.
Keep up those play dates with other kids. It’s important your child know how to take turns, share, listen, and cooperate with others. If he lacks in any area, give him opportunities to practice. Continue to help your child learn about feelings and what is acceptable behavior.
About a month before kindergarten starts, sync bedtime and wake-up times to the upcoming school schedule. Five-year olds need about 11-12 hours of sleep per day to be ready to learn.
At Precious Memories Preschool of Sandy Hollow PreSchool of Sandy Hollow, we offer a special place for children to not only grow and develop along the way, but a place for them to CELEBRATE each and every step. If you are interested in enrolling your child in our program please fill out the form on this page or call us at 860.572.9958