50 One-Minute Ways to Prepare your Child for Kindergarten

Easy Ways to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten

There’s plenty of easy and fun ways to prepare your child for kindergarten. As a library media specialist in a K-8 school, when the kindergartners come into the library I know which ones are prepared and which ones are having a hard time adjusting to kindergarten life! Kindergarten is not the fun year that some image that it is, kids don’t just learn letters anymore in kindergarten, they’re learning reading skills and reading! In this post, give you 50 one-minute ways to prepare your child for kindergarten, I’ll give you suggestions on how to have a happy and successful kindergarten experience!



Your child will be learning a million different rules, procedures and will be learning a lot of information before and during their kindergarten year. Their little minds will be on overload with all the new information coming to them. If you can prepare them with a few bits and pieces of information before kindergarten (and during), it will help them make an easier transition.

These suggestions in this post are intended to give suggestions on the cognitive, language, social/emotional, and the physical/motor skills development which I go over more in my previous post. I’ve also added some of the steps for teaching reading which is gone over in more detail on this website page.

Some of the Steps for Teaching Reading

Oral Language – a child’s understanding of the structure of language.
Phonemic Awareness – a child being able to hear the sounds in words.
Letter recognition/Identification – when a child sees a letter, he/she should be able to recognize the letter and be able to identify it.
Letter/Sound Correspondence a child needs to know each letter and the sound that goes with that letter.
Sight Words – these are words that each child should practice so that they will know them immediately when they see them in their reading assignments.
Vocabulary – a child should know the meaning of multiple words.
Comprehension – a child will also need to put the words and meanings together to be able to understand what he/she is reading.

Research on Raising Readers:

Raising Strong Readers Slideshow from Professional Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

My suggestions on how to prepare your child for kindergarten follow,  but if you would like a Googe Document of these suggestions, just email me at jean@reading-love.com and I will email you a Google Document. You can use many other variations of any of these suggestions and besides the fact you are already doing some of these, you’ll probably thinking of even more way to help your child get ready for kindergarten!

Say your child’s name and have them repeat their first and last name.
Say your child’s address and have your child repeat and memorize your address.
Say your child’s age and have your child repeat their age and memorize it.
Say your phone number and have your child repeat the and memorize it.
Read stories together and have your child decide on the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
Read stories and ask your child to summarize the story.

 Match a picture of an object to the letter it starts with (or the actual word).
Teach your child the days of the week.
Connect things that go together – ex. socks and shoes, bat and ball, etc.
Sing the ABC song.
Touch ¨a, b,c, etc.¨or ¨1,2,3¨  on a phone, computer keyboard, in a magazine, etc.
Read one or two numbers on license plates.
Ask your child the color of surrounding cars, items in your home, at the park, etc.
Find 3 objects that are green, blue, orange, purple, etc.
Write 5 words that start with a, b, c, etc.
Say 5 words of objects you see in a room, outside, at the park, in the car, etc.
Write a letter (or words) on plates, popsicle sticks, hands, pumpkins, cups, etc.
Ask your child what is red, orange, blue, etc., in the room?
Say a “B” sound and then say a word that starts with B, etc. Have your child repeat you.
Draw letters with pen, pencil, marker, foam, stencils, pipe cleaners, clay, etc.

Say a word, spell the word, say the word again and have your child do the same.
Model examples of rhymes- I like cats, I like hats! After a few examples, see if they can complete a rhyme: I see a hog, I see a _______.
Clap your hands to syllables of different words.

Write down 3 items in the room.
Make letters with shells, cereal, pennies, macaroni, stickers, etc.
Draw letters in the sand.
Say letters, numbers, etc. and both say them together.
Draw letters, numbers, words on paper, on a small whiteboard, etc.
Read a word on a sign, billboard, poster, etc.

Draw large letters (or words) on the sidewalk or in the driveway with Chalk markers.
Make a collage from old magazines – words that start with G, all pictures that are yellow, etc.
Read a story and have your child tell you the sequence of events.
Ask questions that start with who, what, where, when, and why.
Practice writing your child’s name.
Practice writing the letters of the alphabet.
Teach your child to perform 2 or 3 requests in a row (ex.get your book and go to the kitchen table).
Model walking behind someone and see if your child can follow that direction.
Show your child how to line up and have your child practice lining up and following behind you.
Show your child how to sit with their legs crossed – ¨criss-cross applesauce.¨
Teach your child how to hold a pencil correctly.                                               
Ask your child to turn around 2 times, hop on 1 foot, run in a straight line, etc.
Teach your child how to hold scissors – cut out a circle, square, triangle, etc.
Model how to ¨take turns¨  and practice it often.
Count to 30 yourself, then together with your child, then have your child say it alone.

Write numbers 1-10, 1-20, 1-30, etc.
Visit your child’s school, playground, bus route, etc.
Practice buttoning and unbuttoning, zipping and unzipping, etc.
Draw shapes such as squares, triangles, and circles.
Practice putting on and taking off clothing.
Practice tieing shoes.

In general, read to your child, talk to your child, question your child about a variety of topics, make them think, think, think! At the very top of my list of ways to help your child be prepared for kindergarten is to read with your child often and have them read with you. For even more ideas on how to help your child get ready for kindergarten, see my post on kindergarten readiness ideas from an expert,  the summer before kindergarten and getting your child ready to read!

A few of these ideas can be done in a day,  but even if you do one a day, you’re helping to prepare your child for kindergarten! You probably do a lot of these already and may have never realized how much you are helping your child’s success in kindergarten. Just the exposure will help your child make a connection with what the teacher suggests to them and what you suggest to them.

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As always, please leave me a comment or request below or email me at jean@reading-love.com! Happy Reading!

2 comments

  1. Amazing! My Wife and I are yet to have kids, it’s great to know there’s so many awesome resources out there to help parents (and us prospective parents!) through the trials that is parenthood 🙂

    Love the idea of making it a fun game/routine to have the child repeat their name, age and things that connect!

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