Get Ready for Kindergarten
There are several ways that you can help your child get ready for kindergarten! Every child grows developmentally in several areas, some of the developmental areas for children are cognitive development (letter, words, etc.), language development (understanding questions, vocabulary) social/emotional development (getting along with others, sharing, etc.) and physical development (using scissors, buttoning, etc.) – these are suggestions for some of the developmental areas.
The sooner, the better to start practicing to get ready for kindergarten! But keep in mind that all children develop at different times and ages. Some 3-year-olds want to hold books in their hand, touch them, want to read them, they want you to read them, etc – others would rather build with the books or throw them around like a ball and have no interest in reading them.
The important thing is that once you see a spark (and it could be a very small spark) of interest in books, letters, reading, etc. then grab it and run with it.
Once your child starts kindergarten, your child’s days will be filled with procedures, rules, routines, and lots of learning! Most kindergartners are exhausted at the end of their day, especially if they did not attend a preschool. It’s very important to show your child that you are interested in their learning and how your love of education. Let your child see you reading and read every day to your child!
Even if you think your child is ready for kindergarten, it’s always best to throw in some fun activities to get them prepared for the big day and the big year!
Sometimes just adding a little something extra to an activity will get your child eating out of the palm of your hand (okay, I’m exaggerating) and you will see once you try. It takes some time to think of these things ahead of time so I’m giving you a couple of examples so that you can alter it however you want.
Use a timer!!! My students LOVE this! Turn over the egg timer, use a stopwatch, use your phone, use an online timer – https://teachbytes.com/2012/07/05/5-fantastic-online-timers, etc. The kids love the challenge of completing a task within a certain amount of time. Many times I’ll start with a question asking them if they think they can complete a task within a certain amount of time and they will try to beat the time I suggested!!!
Can you write your name in 2 minutes? (they may say they can finish it in one minute)
Can you write all the letters of the alphabet in 3 minutes?
Can you count up to 20 in 2 minutes?
Can you zip up your jacket (or button your sweater) in 3 minutes?
And compete!!! I’m not saying you should always use a timer or always compete, but these two simple ideas can get the attention you need to help your child get ready for kindergarten! It can be a competition between you and your child, your child and a friend, sibling, etc.
Who can write our address first?
Who can write down 3 words that start with “f”.
Who can say our phone number first?
Who can tie their shoes first?
Ideas to Help Your Child Get Ready For Kindergarten
1.Drop everything and read – The whole family or just you and your child drop everything and read a book, magazine, tech device, recipe, cereal box, etc. Your child is probably not reading yet, but older siblings can read to their sibling, you can read to your child, or just pile a bunch of reading material your child! Ask questions about what is being read, and have your child respond. Make it exciting – add hot chocolate, etc.
2. Read in the Dark night – Turn out the lights and use flashlights to read, discuss the letters in the words, the words, the story, etc.
3. Get in a tent and read! – Have fun! (the best part about his is that you can either make this a family event or have your child sit solo in the tent and read). You can either buy or make a tent by throwing a blanket over a table. Some of my school’s classrooms have a little tent in them and the kids LOVE to sit and read in them!!!
4. Hide the alphabet letters – Hide all around in the living room (or a few in one spot so it doesn’t take that long), have them collect them and put them in order! Extra: have your child say the letter and sound.
5. Reading Rally – Compete on who can read for the longest time by not moving out of place. You can compete with your child, have your child compete with a sibling, friend, etc.
6. Craft night – Creatively jazz up letters and words any way you can. Make bookmarks, build letters with candy pieces such as M & Ms, Starbursts, Smarties, Twizzlers, etc.
7. Create a Song – Create a silly song of rhyming words with a family member or your child’s friend. Take turns creating a song and finding rhyming words, etc.
8. Basket of STUFF – Have a basket filled with different objects (could be groceries, clothes, toys, ANYTHING that can fit), hold up an item, have your child say the item and say what letter the item starts with (and you can also ask about the letter sound if you want).
9. Baking and Making – Bake a cake, make cupcakes, make Slime, make play dough, make ornaments, etc. Read the recipe and have your child read some of the ingredients and/or directions. Your child can also open boxes, pour ingredients, stir ingredients, etc.
10. Play a board – Play a game that has some reading involved other than the directions
11. Educational toys – Buy toys that connect with letters, words, and reading!
12. Play charades – with such items as “raising your hand and waiting to be called on” Standing quietly in line, taking turns, etc. along with some fun ones.
Your child may be receptive to the activities listed and other reading activities, and to enhance your child’s enthusiasm or to get them enthused if they are not, you can give incentives for completion of various reading activities/practice, etc.
You can make their incentive something as simple as picking a dinner that week, going out for dinner (especially do this if you already know you planned to go out to dinner), gets to pick the 8 pm tv program for the night, gets to stay up and extra 30 minutes, play a game or a visit to the library, $20 for a shirt, the jewelry box or baseball mitt that they’ve been asking for. The list goes on! You can make it something that doesn’t cost a penny and they’ll love it just as much!!
Some of my previous blogs were listed already, but this is a list of those blogs:
- 50 One-Minute Ways to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten
- Are You Getting Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?
- How to Help Your Struggling Reader at Home
- Top 10 Independent Learning Activities so Mom Can Get Stuff Done!
- 25 Ideas for Reading Skills Practice at Home!
- Books for Boys Who Hate to Read and Tips to Get Them Reading Today
- How to Help Your Child Get Ready to Read
- How to get a Reluctant Reader to Read!
- Is Your Child a Reluctant Reader?
- Motivate your Child to Read More – a Reading Challenge!
- Super Fun Ideas For Reading
- Kindergarten Readiness Ideas from an Expert!
- Qualities of a Good Preschool
- How to Get Your Child to Read – Kindergarten and First Grade
There are even more ideas to help your child get ready for kindergarten. And please either leave me a comment below with your email address or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Happy Reading!