Let’s face it: Kindergarten isn’t what it used to be. Right or wrong, it is the world we live in. The following list is intended to help prepare your child in a variety of developmental areas to make the transition from being home (full- time) into kindergarten as smooth as possible. Believe it or not, just 15-20 minutes of playing and learning with your child can make a world of difference!
• Encourage your child to persist in tasks when encountering a problem by giving him tasks slightly above his current ability level. Encourage him to calmly ask for help.
• Play board games to practice taking turns.
• Set up several play dates with friends of various ages.
• Allow your child to stay with other trusted adults for a few hours at a time prior to kindergarten (especially if she has rarely been in the care of someone other than mom and dad).
• Verbally give your child specific one-step and two-step directions and encourage him to follow through.
• Read to your child at least 20 minutes each day.
• Give your child plenty of opportunities to draw (without coloring books). Ask her to draw the things she sees around her.
• Teach your child the uppercase and lowercase letters and, most importantly, the sounds each letter makes through play and games.
• Have your child help you sort items according to color, size, and shape (laundry, blocks, silverware, toys, and other household items work well). Teach your child to recognize the following colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, white, brown, and pink.
• Practice counting aloud to 20 while driving in the car and teach your child numerals 1-10.
• Talk about opposite words (big/little, empty/full, slow/fast).
Physical Development (Gross & Fine Motor)
• Give your child plenty of opportunities for outdoor play: running, jumping, and climbing. Play catch on a regular basis.
• Stack blocks together and play with an interlocking puzzle.
• Let your child use child-safe scissors to cut out a variety of shapes.
• Teach your child to write his name (capital for the first letter and lowercase for the remaining letters). To start, write his name using a highlighter and encourage him to trace over it. Be sure that he forms the letters from the top to the bottom and that your child is holding her pencil correctly.
• Play with playdough regularly. Roll, squish, stamp, and even cut it!
For more great suggestions go to www.icanteachmychild.com or check it out on Facebook.
Image Credit: mauimama