How to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten

group of children preparing for kindergarten reading book

They grow up so fast!

You’ve made it through preschool, but guess what? Kindergarten is right around the corner! To set your child up for success, it’s important to be focusing on developmental skills that will help your child transition to school. Though they’ll get plenty of education once school starts, there’s a lot of learning for them to do beforehand. In this post, we’ll provide you with helpful checklists of these fundamental learning activities.

Numeracy & Literacy Skills

Since math education is infused into the curriculum from the start, getting your child used to numbers and the role they play in their day-to-day life will give them the knowledge they need before starting their official education. Leading up to the first day of school, make sure your child can:

  • Repeat simple patterns
  • Order three things in sequence
  • Match two similar things
  • Match corresponding items
  • Sort objects based on shape, size, and color
  • Count to 10
  • Identify numbers from 1–10
  • Order numbers from 1–10
  • Use items to show greater than and less than
  • Understand what amount a number represents
  • Add and subtract objects

Social-Emotional Skills

Kindergarten and beyond will be filled with social interactions for your child. Preparing them to share an environment with their classmates is imperative for their development. Be sure your little one has the ability to:

  • Start positive interactions with people
  • Take turns and share
  • Resolve conflicts without fighting
  • Express their feelings
  • Responds to their feelings as well as those of other people
  • Complete tasks
  • Says “please” and “thank you”
  • Recite their name, number, and address
  • Know their age
  • Adapt to new situations

Language Skills

Understanding language and being able to utilize it themselves is one of the most important skills a child can have upon starting their education. It allows them to follow directions from teachers and communicate with other kids. Make sure they can:

  • Name and recognize 5 colors and 10 letters
  • Recognize their written first name
  • Match letters to sounds
  • Recognize rhyming words
  • Write all of or most of their first name
  • Recognize basic words
  • Understand descriptive words like pretty or big
  • Draw pictures to tell a story
  • Tell a story or discuss their experiences
  • Follow two-step directions
  • Answer questions based on the five Ws (who, what, when, where, why)
  • Ask questions when they want to know something
  • Participate in conversations
  • Recite basic nursery rhymes
  • Show interest in and the ability to read
  • Make references to a story based on its cover
  • Retell simple stories
  • Make predictions while reading a story
  • Speak clearly
  • Listen when people speak to them

Motor Skills

Physical interactions with the environment are a big part of life, and many new things are coming your child’s way when they begin school. Have them practice the following in preparation so they can:

Gross Motor

  • Run and jump
  • Throw, catch, and bounce a ball
  • Ride a tricycle

Fine Motor

  • Use scissors safely
  • Use writing instruments properly
  • Build with blocks
  • Draw basic shapes

Self-Help Skills

When getting your child ready for kindergarten, the checklist items above are essential and many are commonly known. But there are some skills that are just as important. Though these aren’t specific to a school environment, they will carry over from home to the classroom. Teach your child to:

  • Do basic tasks without assistance
    • Get dressed
    • Hang their coat
    • Use the bathroom
    • Wash their hands
    • Clear their place at the end of a meal
  • Practice self-help
    • Blow their noses without being told to
    • Put on their shoes
  • Be responsible
    • Refill their own water bottles or cups
    • Take some groceries inside after a trip to the store
    • Clean up trash when they see it
  • Follow routines
    • Get out of bed at the same time each day
    • Get dressed
    • Have breakfast at the table

You’ve Got This!

This all may seem like a lot, but many of these tasks and responsibilities are things your child has likely been practicing their whole life without intending to. Now, it’s simply time to be more conscious and intentional about it. If you practice activities with your child on a regular basis, they will do great when they start their kindergarten adventure!

If you have questions about how you can help your child get ready for starting kindergarten, contact us today.