How Parents Can Help Prepare Their Children for Kindergarten
Parents and teachers recognize that each child grows at his or her own particular rate. Parents can help develop a happy inter-relationship between home and school by encouraging children in the following areas:
Putting On Clothes
- Knowing his or her own clothing (put name on coats, hats, scarves, mittens, and boots)
- Putting on clothes in logical order
- Buttoning and/ or zipping coats
- Putting on outdoor clothing
- Tying shoes
(Send your child in slip-on or Velcro shoes until this skill is learned.)
- Hanging up clothes in orderly fashion
Using the Toilet
- To go to the toilet without help (have clothing which can be managed alone)
- To flush the toilet
- To wash hands after flushing the toilet
- Before school begins, establish a morning routine in your home.
- Sleep ten to twelve hours each night
- Enjoy quiet time during the day
- Eat well- balanced and unhurried meals (hungry and tired children are not good candidates for a successful school day)
- Wash hands before eating
- Learn to turn the head or use a tissue when sneezing or coughing
- Teach your child his or her full address and phone number.
- Teach your child the way to school.
- Teach him or her to look both ways before crossing the street.
Developing Desirable Play Habits
- Play with brothers and sisters
- Play and share with other children
- Make new friends
- Feel the importance of taking turns and sharing with others
- Reinforce helpful behaviors
- Help make decisions in family activities or recreation
- Provide opportunities for outdoor play.
Talking and Listening
- Encourage your child to speak in short sentences about things which interest him or her.
- Encourage your child to look at the speaker.
- Encourage your child to take turns speaking and listening in group conversations
- Help him or her to speak distinctly.
- Read books to your child each day, and reinforce good listening skills.
- Encourage your child to follow 3 step directions.
Gross (Large Muscle) Motor Skills
- Provide opportunities for outdoor play
- Encourage your child to run and skip
- Teach your child how to throw, catch, and kick a ball
Fine Motor Skills
- Give your child opportunities to work with crayons, pencils, and washable markers.
- Reinforce correct pencil grip (See the A-OK handout.)
- Provide opportunities for your child to cut paper with scissors.
- Encourage work with toys that will strengthen your child’s hands or hand-eye coordination – small building toys like legos, pegboards or Lite-Brite, puzzles, play- doh.
Getting Ready to Read
- Teach your child to write his or her name using correct form (First letter only in uppercase.)
- Work on identifying colors.
- Sing the alphabet song and add an ABC Book to your daily read-aloud.
- Work on naming letters.
- Read to your child each day. On several pages, run your finger under the line of print as you read.
- Encourage your child to draw pictures and to tell you about the pictures.
Getting Ready for Math
- Count aloud with your child to 20.
- Count up to 10 objects with 1 to 1 correspondence.
- Work on identifying numerals to 10.
- Begin to write numbers to 10.
- Add a number book to your read-aloud time.
- Work on naming shapes – circle, square, rectangle, triangle, oval, diamond.
- Have your child help sort items – toys, socks, etc.