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how to prepare your child for kindergarten — summertime prep

kindergarten prep

This time final summer time, we have been gearing up to ship off my candy boy to Kindergarten, and this yr, it’s my child’s flip.

Cora will stroll into these elementary faculty doorways this time, after which it should simply be me.  I’ll stroll residence on my own, to an empty home, with a cheerful canine, till the youngsters’ day ends at Three o’clock.

I can’t even start to give it some thought, or I swear I’ll bawl my eyes out.

how to get your child ready for kindergarten: summertime prepHowever what’s been holding me targeted this summer time, together with our loopy swim and dive schedules, journey to the seashore, and visits with household, has been the concept my job as a dad or mum is to do all I can to prepare my littlest for her massive Kindergarten yr.

So slightly than reinvent the wheel, I turned to my archives a bit to see what we did final summer time to get the O-man prepared for his massive Kindergarten yr.  I made some changes, modifications, and variations for Cora.

Right here’s the thin. . .

How to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten:

We’ve been doing loads of this stuff with Cora for fairly a while now, however like I’ve stated earlier than, she’s my trickiest.  Typically she’s feelin’ it, and typically she’s not.

So I’ve had to be versatile, and so has she.  She’s had to do loads of ready as I’ve supported Owen and Maddy alongside the best way.

However the great point is that even in case you haven’t carried out a lot up to this level, you can begin now (sure, proper now, like instantly after you learn this–) to get your child prepared for kindergarten, even in the previous few weeks earlier than faculty begins. . .

everyday name book

The On a regular basis Identify books are only one means we rejoice–and apply!–names round right here.

  • Working towards identify writing: Youngsters ought to find a way to write their names by the point they get to kindergarten. Actually. Youngsters are 5 or 6 by the point they hit elementary faculty, and lots of have been in preschool or daycare for a yr or two earlier than that.  That’s plenty of time for working towards the few letters that make up a child’s identify.

The writing doesn’t have to be good, nevertheless it ought to be legible. More than likely on day one, kiddos are going to be requested to write their names, and what a confidence increase for a nervous child if he’s in a position to do it!

Do that by: Beginning an On a regular basis Identify E-book; enjoying with names, enjoying with household names; discovering any and each excuse to write names!  Working towards and working towards and enjoying video games with household names.


  • Speaking about letters–and figuring out them and understanding their sounds: There are tons of the way of enjoying with the letters of the alphabet, and by kindergarten, youngsters ought to give you the chance to determine most–if not all–of each uppercase and lowercase letters.

Positive, they’ll study all about letters all through the kindergarten yr, however it’s essential to be sure that youngsters are in a position to determine of a lot of the letters in order that they will give attention to studying the sounds they make–typically that is the extra tough half.  However we may also help them study letters, and we will do it in actually enjoyable, sneaky methods.

Do that by: Testing 10 enjoyable methods of serving to youngsters study their ABC’s;  doing ABC Hunts; enjoying clothespin video games with letters; placing letters on lids, play alphabingo; enjoying some alphabet board video games; exercising with ABC’s; happening a yard alphabet hunt; doing an on-the-road (or on the grocery retailer or anyplace) alphabet hunt.

wordo sight words

WORDO! is a super-awesome recreation for enjoying with phrases, studying and writing.

  • Rockin’ some sight phrases: Many faculty districts recommend that oldsters even begin some sight phrase follow with their rising kindergartners earlier than faculty begins, and I feel it’s a very nice concept. Most youngsters know that once they go to kindergarten, they’ll study to learn. And studying sight phrases–the phrases which might be greatest discovered by memorizing as a result of they want to be acknowledged shortly and routinely (and since many don’t comply with phonics guidelines!)–is usually a confidence booster identical to studying how to write names may be.

However the days of standing in entrance of a child flipping flashcards and making them learn them for you’re over. There are a ton of cool ways in which youngsters can begin working towards–and studying–these phrases that trump the ole ‘drill-and-kill’ strategies.

Do that by:  Enjoying Phrases Three Methods; taking out the magnetic letters and utilizing them for constructing sight phrases; utilizing sight-word phrase searches; making wiggly phrases; writing sticky finger phrases; enjoying sight phrase Go Fish! or Reminiscence; enjoying WORDO!; or take a look at a ton of different cool methods to play with sight phrases.

number chart 3

Quantity Bins are a good way for youngsters to join numerals with portions.

  • Enjoying with numbers: We’ll do loads of number-playing this summer time, in card video games, in road signal video games, and in easy pool-snack-bar addition, nevertheless it’s actually necessary for our youngsters to be uncovered to math ideas and have a common quantity sense earlier than kindergarten.

Counting throughout walks, lining up Lego guys and counting them as you add them to the bridge you simply constructed, or one thing so simple as timing how shortly ice-cubes soften within the sunshine all helps construct a strong arithmetic basis in our kiddos.

Do that by: Together with math in your on a regular basis actions or newspaper studying; counting cash and skip counting; enjoying with numbers and quantity phrases; pulling out the ole grid video games; studying some math-poetry; enjoying with quantity bins.  Creating enjoyable methods of remembering how to write quantity 5.

newspaper weather math

  • Studying, studying, studying:  We actually can’t learn an excessive amount of to our youngsters. We will’t. Studying can–and will–be carried out all through the day, in a lot of methods and never simply reserved for earlier than bedtime when everybody’s beat and you may hardly maintain your eyes open.

We–as mother and father–want to present our kiddos that we don’t solely learn our pals’ and relations’ Fb updates; it’s our job to reveal to kiddos that we learn directions so we will put collectively that bookshelf from Ikea, we learn the newspaper so we all know what’s happening on the earth, and we learn recipes so we all know how to make Nanny’s superior zucchini bread.  And doubtless most significantly–we’d like to present our youngsters that we learn for pleasure. We learn to loosen up, we learn for enjoyment.

We would like them to get psyched for kindergarten and studying to learn as a result of then. . . then the world is open to them they usually can study something and every part they need!

Do that by: Studying, studying, studying. Studying about again to faculty. Studying the newspaper. Studying road indicators, studying cereal bins, studying the phrases on their Wii video games. Making studying enjoyable. Speaking about phrases and celebrating phrases.  Throwing in straightforward, pure studying methods throughout read-alouds.

shoelace box

The Shoelace Field–or Ribbon Rows–it doesn’t matter what you name it, it really works.

  • Tying footwear (and zipping and buttoning): Yep. Youngsters ought to begin studying how to tie footwear, zip zippers, and button buttons. and although most are sporting flip-flops or crocs proper about now, they’ll be sporting sneaks quickly–they usually’ll really feel nice if they will tie these pups themselves.

It was Owen’s objective final summer time–however it solely occurred just lately, and with loads of apply–that he discovered how to tie his footwear on his personal. It’s not straightforward for many youngsters, and it takes apply. However it might be an ideal summer time rainy-day exercise within the subsequent few weeks. . .

Do that by: Making a shoelace field.  Although Maddy taught herself on her dolls’ garments and by sporting dress-ups, Owen used the shoelace field for about 4 weeks this winter and spring, and he lastly acquired it. His ties aren’t good, however he can (virtually) do it on his personal.   When it comes to zippering or buttoning, have your child follow by zippering or buttoning the sweatshirt that you simply’re sporting so she sees how it really works extra clearly than when she tries to zipper or button the one sporting the sweatshirt herself.  Yours is greater, too, in order that typically helps.

me on the map

Me on the Map might assist kiddos study their stats.

  • Memorizing their information–full identify, telephone quantity, and handle:  Youngsters ought to know their stuff by elementary faculty.  In the event that they don’t know their entire identify–first, center, and final–then begin on that pronto! They don’t want to spell the entire thing (that may be good . . . ) however your child wants to know that he’s Travis J, or Travis Johnson, not to be confused with Travis Okay, Travis O, or Travis W.

Okay, so the telephone quantity and tackle are somewhat harder, and admittedly, I’m unsure that Maddy knew ours when she went to kindergarten. However Cora will know this as a result of I’m now a a lot older and wiser father or mother (not likely).

Do that by: A superb good friend of mine taught her women to memorize their telephone quantity with this track, set to the tune of
Frere Jacques (Are you sleeping, are you sleeping? Brother John. . . ):

1-2-Three, [Insert your own phone number for these–]






Name any time. [I can’t remember if these are the words she used, but these are the words our family uses.]

Name any time.

The handle? The one factor we’ve completed is the Me on the Map exercise, however except for that, I don’t have a trick for studying addresses. However I do know that we speak extra about it than we did with Maddy, and even when Cora doesn’t know our actual quantity, she a minimum of is aware of our road identify.

preparing kids for kindergarten

  • Speaking about stranger security: Ugh. I completely despise this ‘life lesson’ nevertheless it has to be taught–time and again and over.

Do that by: Watching The Safeside: Stranger Security DVD with the youngsters and being knowledgeable myself was all we did, have accomplished, and plan to do with Cora. It’s an amazing reminder for all of my youngsters–Maddy, Owen, and Cora.

  • Consuming lunch out of a lunchbox: Many youngsters do that at preschool earlier than they hit the large Okay-year, and Cora’s preschool included. However when her new lunchbox arrives, I’ll pack it–identical to I’ll for the primary day–and we’ll have a picnic someplace.

Do that by: Packing his lunch in his brand-new, just-for-kindergarten lunchbox and picnicking someplace!

shrinky dink backpack

  • Blingin’ her backpack:  I’ve learn that it’s not clever to get backpacks monogrammed with youngsters’ names as a result of then it’s simpler for a stranger to name their identify and lure them method.  I don’t keep in mind the place I learn it, and don’t mark my phrases.

So fairly than make an enormous, fancy name-plate for new Kindergartners, I do assume it’s essential to personalize their luggage a bit.

Do that by:  Making one thing easy and fancilicioius, just like the felt flower pins we made for Maddy, or make it slightly extra subdued.  Final yr for Owen, we blinged his backpack with personalised Shrinky Dinks, and we’ve got plans for Cora within the works!


  • Saying ‘Hello’ to her instructor: We’ve finished this yearly since Maddy began Kindergarten, and the youngsters like it–and I feel the academics do, too.  We even made variations in our Howdy Instructor Notes final yr for Maddy, since she’s a bit older.

It’s only a fast introduction–nothing fancy or concerned–between scholar and instructor earlier than Open Home, Again-to-Faculty picnic, no matter.

Do that by: Sending Whats up Instructor Notes to the brand new instructor.  We’ll discover out Cora’s instructor fairly quickly, so as soon as we do, she is going to write his letter which tells the instructor somewhat bit about her, and she or he’ll ship a clean one to the instructor. She is going to full the letter (some fast one-word solutions–I do know academics want a summer time break!), and she is going to use the stamped envelope we offer to ship the response again to us.


kindergarten prep

Allow them to play, allow them to play, allow them to play. With new associates and previous.


  • Hanging with buddies: It’s so necessary for youngsters to have no less than one acquainted face once they stroll into the constructing, however I’m nicely conscious that that isn’t all the time potential.  I do know although, that at this time limit, so many communities have on-line message boards that assist with the group of a summertime playdate.  So take a second, sit down on the pc, and perform a little analysis!

Do that by:  Publish a park playdate occasion on a group message board, one thing alongside the strains of: Let’s get the Bayside Elementary Faculty 2011 rising kindergartners collectively!  Plan to meet at [this park] on [this date] at [this time].  Deliver snacks! Convey outdoors toys! Siblings welcome!!  Any questions, please contact [your email].

And make sure to cease by the grocery retailer for some low cost freeze pops in the event you can and convey paper and a pen so you possibly can collect everybody’s contact info for the subsequent park playdate. preparing kids for kindergarten

Or publish an indication at your group pool or the library or wherever.  You’ll be able to meet on the library, or simply meet with a few of the mother and father the primary time, or ship a word to your MOMS Membership or church and even the counselor on the faculty might probably assist join you to an individual who might have the ability to aid you.


  • Giving her jobs:   Having youngsters pay attention to verbal instructions–after which comply with them–is super-important for success in class.   I’ve no secrets and techniques as to how we get our youngsters to comply with instructions (they don’t all the time, consider me), and my husband and I are perpetual college students on this parenting gig–studying each single day.

For us, Gem Jars (and now Gem Jars have labored and Recreation Time Tickets have labored as incentives for listening and being respectful. Nevertheless it’s uber essential to give youngsters particular duties with clear instructions in order that they follow these listening expertise.  Perhaps it’s not all the time a ‘Get in there and clean your room‘, ‘Hang up those wet towels!!’ or a ‘Please turn off the light‘– maybe if we occasionally throw in a ‘Please make yourself–and me–a huge bowl of ice-cream‘ or a ‘Will you please teach me how to play Mario Kart?‘ they’ll pay attention extra intently. . .


  • Giving her area:  It’s exhausting, however free time is necessary. I’m not speaking about setting our youngsters free to roam the ‘hood with the instructions to return at dinnertime. I’m speaking about taking a break from our helicopter tendencies, from our incessant worrying, from our want to fill area and time, from our perpetual ‘where-is-she-and-what-is-she-doing?’

Kindergarten’s an enormous step.  And our youngsters want to know that we have now confidence of their success.

Thanks to an excellent good friend of mine, I lately learn an article within the July/ August 2011 The Atlantic, How to Land Your Child in Remedy.  Fascinating stuff. Gave me a ton to take into consideration and is completely value studying.

  • Giving them love: I’ll by no means cease hugging and kissing on my youngsters. I can’t hold my palms off of their sun-tanned shoulders and bleach-blonde heads.  I really like the texture of Owen’s calloused, monkey-bar arms; I am keen on Cora’s crooked, self-cut bangs, and my coronary heart sings when Maddy hugs me together with her entire physique–her lengthy legs included.  Their hoots and hollers crack me up and the flicker in every of their blue eyes is sufficient to convey me to tears.

However I’ve come to understand that love is available in so many various varieties–and that a arduous a part of demonstrating love for my youngsters includes me letting go, even when it’s just a bit.  I’m engaged on displaying them my love for them by letting them fall and get themselves again up.  Letting them run to me with a skinned knee as an alternative of me operating to them, waving a band-aid and Neosporin and a face filled with fear.  Permitting them to clarify to their coaches why they have been late for swim apply quite than me doing the explaining. Not bringing back-up goggles once they lose their second pair in two days.

Displaying my sweets that I belief in them and consider of their capacity to bounce again.

It’s not straightforward–however I’m making an attempt.

And so it goes. . . my second-to-last summer time earlier than my child is off to Kindergarten.  Let’s do what we will to benefit from the journey!

(Initially revealed on August 2, 2012.)

kindergarten prep |

Need a couple of extra concepts on how you possibly can assist your child achieve faculty?

Take a look at:

Take a look at a couple of different posts which will provide help to develop robust and wholesome habits for your household:

A couple of extra literacy-related posts value studying. . . (click on on picture to learn!)

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extra cool concepts from teachmama. . .



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