How do you prepare your child for kindergarten? There are so many aspects that factor into kindergarten readiness. What skills should your child have to be ready for kindergarten? There are different types of skills that your child will need to be ready for kindergarten. Kindergarten readiness skills include motor skills, social skills, language skills, reading and writing skills, as well as reasoning and concept development.
1: Introduce Your Child to Other Trusted Adults
Has your child only spent time with you? Has your child met any other adults? Prepare your child for the classroom by asking trusted adults like other relatives to care for your child a few times a week. Your child needs to learn that other adults you trust are not scary. This kindergarten readiness activity is also important so your child learns how to listen to other grownups as authority figures. If you enroll your child in a preschool program or child care center, your child is exposed to many grownups.
2: Schedule Playdates for Your Child
Kindergarten is more than a classroom. Kindergarten also includes many other children. Does your child play well with others? Don’t wait until kindergarten to have your child play with other children. Playdates are a great way to help your child get more comfortable around other people and build his or her social skills. Frequent playdates can make the first day of school more exciting than scary, since your child’s friends will be there!
3: Play “Simon Says”
Games like “Simon Says” facilitate teaching your child about directions like forward and back or up and down as well as patterns. This game focuses on listening. You can start with a simple instruction like “jump” and then move on to more complicated directions with multiple steps!
4: Have Arts & Crafts Time
Arts and crafts will help your child with fine motor skills, shape and color recognition, and more. When your child shows you a masterpiece, ask your child questions besides, “What is it?” Take this opportunity to ask your child about the colors he or she used. This is also a chance for you to work on your child’s ability to compare and contrast images. Encourage your child to tell you about what images are bigger or smaller to start building these skills!
5: Read with Your Child at Bedtime
Reading to your child builds your child’s language skills like verbal processing and logic skills. Repetition helps your young child learn, so have no fear about reading the same book to your little one over and over again! Reading the same books gives your child the chance to practice sounding out letters and words.
6: Play with Puzzles
Puzzles are a great tool to help your child learn. Playing with puzzles develops your child’s hand-eye coordination and cognitive skills. Puzzles are also great for rainy days when you are stuck inside. Remember that there are different levels of difficulty when it comes to puzzles. While your child is a preschooler, start with simple puzzles that have fewer, larger pieces.
7: Practice Counting
You can make practicing counting fun! Ask your child how many windows there are in the room, or how many apple slices are on his or her plate at lunchtime.
8: Play Matching Games
Can your child recognize two matching images in a larger group of images? This skill is one of many measured in children for determining kindergarten readiness. Play matching games with your child to build this skill. Start with a few images, and add more images as time goes on. This is another great activity for a rainy day!
9: Play “I Spy”
Games like “I Spy” help your child with color and shape recognition, language skills, and more. Start simple with objects that your child can associate with colors or everyday activities.
10: Play with Patterns
Pattern recognition is an important skill for your child. You can teach your child about patterns using shapes and colors.
11: Make an “About Me” Book with Your Child
This can be a fun indoor activity that enhances fine motor skills. You can teach your child how to hold a writing utensil. Teach your child to write his or her name in this fun book all about your little one! Include fun facts in this book like parents’ names and names of siblings and pets. Once your child is away from home, he or she will be expected to answer, “What is your name?” Make sure your child knows the basics with this fun activity.
12: Give Your Child Opportunities to Safely Play Outdoors
Your child needs to spend time doing some sort of physical activity each day. Children need exercise to improve gross motor skills and improve health. Take your child to a park for an hour or go on a walk with your child. You can use walking time to also work on other some of these other kindergarten readiness activities like playing “I Spy” or talking about colors and shapes you see on your walk!
13: Encourage Pretend Play and Learning Through Play
Play is a crucial part of your child’s cognitive development and emotional growth. Play strengthens your child’s imagination and creativity. If your child invites you to play with him or her, take the opportunity to teach your child manners and good behavior.
Kindergarten Readiness Programs at Chicago Child Care Center
These are just a handful of kindergarten readiness activities you can do with your child. If you are looking for other ways to prepare your child for kindergarten, enroll your child in a preschool program or child care center.
Evanston’s Toddler Town Daycare and Chicago’s Toddler Town Daycare Too offer kindergarten prep classrooms to make sure young children are ready for kindergarten! We can help your child be ready for the classroom academically and socially.
Enroll your child at Toddler Town Daycare to prepare your child for kindergarten today.