Kindergarten Readiness Tips for Parents – Children enter Kindergarten at different levels. What Kindergarten intends to do is prepare all of the children so that they’re all on the same level when they walk in the first day.
What can parents do to get their child ready for Kindergarten? Patricia Mueller, Education Manager for Head Start at OLHSA, gives us the following ten Kindergarten readiness tips. Consider these experiences the building blocks children should have or do to get ready for Kindergarten.
Ten Kindergarten Readiness Tips for Parents
- Writing – Children should practice writing, and with more than a pen, pencil, crayon or marker. Bring on something more tactile, and involve more than just letters. For example, put 1/4 cup of gel into a ziploc sandwich bag. Get all the air out and seal it shut. Then, have the child use a finger to draw letters, shapes, numbers, pictures…
- Letter Recognition – Play “memory” using ABC flash cards. Make sure to call out the letters you find.
- Beginning Sounds – Know a letter, but also know the sound it makes. Play the following game using a deck of Phonics flash cards. Draw a card from the deck and talk about the sound for that letter. Then, go for a walk around the house and look for items that have the same beginning sound.
- Numbers and Counting – Hi-Ho Cherry-O is a great game for learning numbers and counting. It’s helpful and useful. A bonus is that on the game board, each of the sets of cherries on the spinner not only has the number of cherries to show how many you got on that spin, but it also has the actual number written on them. This helps the children learn how many that number is for.
- Shapes and Colors – Fruity Cheerios have many colors and are a great tool for learning them. Give a child a small bowl of Fruity Cheerios and ask them to find all the blues, all the yellows, etc. Then have line drawings of shapes and have them place the Cheerios in the line drawings to create the colorful shapes.
- Fine Motor Skills – Use children’s scissors and Play-Doh, and instruct children to cut the Play-Doh into shapes, e.g. a snake, sailboat, flower, baseball, etc. This is one of the most important tasks for Kindergarten readiness
- Reading Readiness – Incorporate rhymes when developing reading readiness. Have children make a rhyming book by stapling some pages together and writing a word at the top of each page. Have the child come up with as many rhyming words as possible for each page. Kids will love reading this book over and over, and adding more rhyming words as they come up with new ones.
- Following Directions – This one is what the teachers want more than anything! Practice this activity using a Simon Says style game. Write out different commands on small sheets of paper, then draw three and have the kids listen and do the commands. e.g. Turn around, clap your hands, and stick out your tongue.
- Social Skills – Social Skills includes being able to look at someone and understand how they are feeling. Teach children to identify feelings using pictures of different moods and expressions. Have the children explain what each picture represents. Ask the children how did they know, and when are times that they feel this way.
- Cutting – Cutting lessons can be incorporated into the same activity as the Fine Motor Skills as mentioned above in number six.
For more Kindergarten readiness tips for parents, visit greatstartoakland.org.