Ensure Your Kiddo is Ready for Kindergarten

Ensure Your Kiddo is Ready for Kindergarten

Starting kindergarten is an exciting time for you and your child. Kindergarten is often a time of exploration and growth that allows your child to increase a sense of independence, self-reliance, and self-confidence. And while there is much anticipation about starting “big kid school,” it can also be a time filled with stress and anxiety for little ones making the transition. Even for parents, too!

The pediatric therapists at Woman’s Center for Wellness have put together a list of things you can do, as a parent, to help ease your child into this whole new phase of development.

Gross Motor Skills: 

  • Provide your child with many opportunities to run, jump, and climb
  • Teach your child to catch and kick a ball
  • Teach your child to hop on one foot

Fine Motor Skills:

  • Encourage your child to use safety scissors to cut out simple shapes
  • Help your child hold a pencil and crayons correctly
  • Teach your child how to unbuckle and buckle belts
  • Make sure your child can manage buttons and snaps
  • Ensure that your child can manage bathroom needs
  • If bringing lunch, make sure your child can open juice boxes and/or lunch containers
  • Help your child learn how to take off and put on shoes

Language/Communication Skills:

  • Make sure your child can say their first and last name
  • Practice with your child describing the events of their day
  • Teach your child how to recite important phone numbers and home address
  • Read to your child and have them re-tell the story with a beginning, middle, and end
  • Practice with your child following 2-3 step directions
  • Teach your child time concepts, such as before, after, yesterday, today, tomorrow
  • Teach your child spatial concepts, such as over, under, in, out
  • Practice waiting their turn to speak

Cognitive Development:

  • Help your child identify some letters of the alphabet
  • Count to 20 with your child
  • Practice using rhyming words with your child
  • Sort and classify objects based on basic concepts (colors, shapes, size, etc.) with your child
  • Practice naming colors with your child
  • Teach your child to recognize numbers up to 20
  • Teach your child to spell and write their first name

Social Skills:

  • Practice playing board games with your child
  • Ensure that your child knows how to take turns during game activities
  • Encourage your child to be persistent when trying to solve a problem
  • Prepare your child to share toys with others
  • Help your child recognize when they need help, and teach them how to ask for it
  • Encourage your child to separate from you in safe, appropriate settings
  • Teach your child to pick up after themselves

There are many books that you can read with your child to ease some of the fears associated with transitioning to kindergarten.  Here are just a few:

  • Clifford Goes to Kindergarten  by Norman Bridwell
  • The Night Before Kindergarten  by Natasha Wing
  • Kindergarten Rocks!  by Katie Davis
  • The Kissing Hand  by Audrey Penn
  • Franklin Goes to School  by Paulette Bourgeois
  • Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten  by Joseph Slate

No transition is ever completely worry-free, but by following the above suggestions, hopefully your child’s entrance into kindergarten will be smooth sailing and (mostly) tear-free!