Kindergarten used to be the building block preparing kids for school. They used to come to Kindergarten ready to learn their numbers and alphabet, but now; Kindergarten is much more. Before Kindergarten, kids are expected to already know most of their letters, how to write their name, and much more. By the time a child leaves Kindergarten, they will already know how to read lower level books! So, what can you do to prepare your preschooler for a great start at Kindergarten? Here are 6 things to work on with your preschooler before Kindergarten:
1. Work on their Name
Many parents don’t know this, but it is important to teach your child how to write their name the correct way. This means a capital for the first letter and lowercase for the rest. If you don’t teach your child this, it is very hard for them to relearn it later on. When working on their name remember these tips:
- Sit up straight
- Feet on the floor
- Make sure they are at a perfect table/chair height
- Use their helper’s hand to stabilize the paper
- Teach them to hold the pencil correctly or use pencil grips
2. Work on Letters
The educational system starts Kindergarten standards with the assumption that kids already know 13 uppercase letters and 13 lowercase letters when they enter Kindergarten. Work on teaching your preschooler one letter a day. Teaching lowercase letter then uppercase letters can help them transition between the two easier.
3. Work on Letter Sounds
As I said, your Kindergartener will know how to read by the end of Kindergarten. Therefore, it is important to help them along the way. As you teach the names of letters, make sure you work on letter sounds, too. Working on letter sounds will help your child to transition into blending those sound into words and will give them a head start to their peers. My personal favourite activities are:
- Making Animals out of Letters (D is for Dog)
- Writing Letters with Chalk
- Painting Letters
- Playing in shaving cream and writing letters
4. Work on Counting
Make counting a part of everyday life. Count the carrots on your plate, the cars in the toy box, or the crayons in the crayon box. Standards assume children starting Kindergarten can count objects up to 20.
5. Colors are Important to Teach
When you work on colors, try to point out the spellings of each color on crayons, on cards, or in games. Although it is not expected that they know color words, this will be a skill they need to master by the end of Kindergarten. Your preschooler is expected to know all the colors when asked, however. Here are some great games:
- Color Bingo (Match the color stated in the word)
- Color Matching Game (words with colors)
- Twister helps teach colors and directions
6. Teach them to Use Proper Grammar
You don’t need to teach them where a comma goes, but it is important to teach your child to speak properly. When they say “Me go to the store,” simply say, “I go to the store.”
Work on Listening Skills: At this point, it is important to really get your kids to work on listening skills and lengthening their attention span. School days are long and good listening skills are truly the building blocks of a successful first year of Kindergarten. You can do this by:
- Reading Stories
- Working on Writing Skills
- Doing Circle Time
With so many skills to be taught, Kindergarten is once what first grade used to be. You can prepare your kids for Kindergarten while still at home with these tips.
What other things do you work on with your preschooler?