When you get ready to send your not so little, little one off to school for the first time it can be hard for your both. If you spend the summer preparing you can make sure that each of you is ready. These are some common things that your child needs to know/do when entering Kindergarten.
Talk about what to expect- If you child has not actually attended a brick and mortar preschool it is a much different experience for them. Role play what school is like, let them know what will be expected of them- sit quietly while teacher is talking, raise their hand, etc.
Introduce and practice- Your childs full name, address, and phone number. Recite it outloud, write it down- use flashcards, repetition, and games to assist.
Read aloud to your child 20 minutes a day– Even before your child is reading on their own they can learn from your reading- show them the parts of a book, how to hold it, that we read from left to right,etc. Children learn this way that those words are made up of letters that make sounds and when you put them together you get information!
Practice sorting objects by shape, size, and color- This can be cereal, blocks, rubber bugs, or any household object. Show your child that items can be sorted by different attributes.
Practice counting to 20– This is a great activity while traveling in the car, waiting at a dr.’s office, or restaurant. Use blocks and workbooks to help them identify numbers as well.
Be sure they know their colors- Practice with paint, crayons, buildings, fruit, anything that catches your child’s attention. Have your child identify colors at the grocery store, of your clothing and theirs, and outside.
Work on identifying and writing their name -if they don’t already know how. I started by writing my childs name with a highlighter for them to trace over then moved onto writing it lightly in pencil for tracing, and eventually them writing it on their own. We also wrote it in sand, jello, finger paint, etc.
Teach uppercase and lowercase letter identification- as well as the sounds they make. Point out letters on packages at the grocery store, use flashcards, videos, letter puzzles.
Scissor Work – Let them practice cutting along lines you have made on paper, or even cutting randomly. Demonstrate the proper way to hold and cut, as well as carrying scissors across a room. There are a wide variety of child safety scissors available.
Play, Play, Play– Be sure your child has plenty of time for open ended play, indoors and out, to develop fine and gross motor skills, hand eye coordination, balance, and more.