Prepare Your Preschooler for Kindergarten: 10 Strategies for Parents

This summer prepare your child for kindergarten. Wondering how to do that; Here are 10 ways to boost kindergarten readiness skills:

1. MUSIC TO THE SOUL.  Music encourages social-emotional, sensory-motor, and cognitive development. Songs can teach body awareness, positional concepts, sorting skills, and the ability to classify by attributes and connect numbers to the quantities they represent.

2.  Setting Up Social-Emotional Development.  Promote listening, sharing, turn-taking, using manners, role-playing, and imitating during playtime.

3.  Boost Sensorimotor Development.  Do activities to develop fine motor coordination and hand strength. Use little tools for little hands. Breaking crayons in half and using golf-sized pencils help to promote proper grasp.

4. Check the child’s interest.  Meet your child where he is developmental. If you’re working on writing, begin with capital letters and have him write his own name. Build on what he does well to increase his self-confidence.

5.  Blossom While Building.  Provide opportunities for your child to learn through discovery play. Put out an array of age-appropriate materials and see what he does!

6.  Bring Letters to Life.  Use a variety of sensory-motor strategies to make letters.  Roll out Play-Dough to form letters; finger-trace letters in rice, shaving cream, or sand on a cookie sheet; and draw “rainbow letters,” in which you write the letter in one color and then have your child trace it in various colors.  Provide models for letters your child does not yet know and remember to begin with capital letters. Demonstrate and teach proper letter formation by following these guidelines.

7.  Focus on Phonological Awareness.  While working on bringing letters to life, practice identifying the sounds each letter makes. Use alliteration to help your child identify the first sound in each spoken word. Make a list of names that start with the same sound as your child’s name, your name, etc. Name pictures and identify the first sound in each picture.

8.  Build in Language.  Children pick up vocabulary by listening to speech before using language itself. Read books to your child daily. Ask open-ended questions to encourage the expression of more complex thoughts. Have your child practice following directions by setting up a three- or four-step obstacle course, playing games, or doing the Hokie Pokie. Talk about feelings (keep it simple by using happy, mad, sad, and scared), and have your child provide examples of when he may have felt that way. Encourage the use of words to describe objects, places, or people. Recognize rhyming words (receptive language) and making words that rhyme (expressive language).

9. Math can be brain teasers Count and compare various objects. Use shapes, positions, and patterns. Help your child develop one-to-one correspondence by having him set the table and give each person one of each item. Play Simon Says with shapes. Place shapes on the floor and say “Tickle a circle” or “Jump to shape with three corners,” etc. Describe simple patterns and have your child repeat the patterns you model or have your child create his own patterns and describe them to you.

10. Teach them what counts the most. Children learn to count before knowing what numbers mean. Teach cardinal by having your child count various things such as the number of objects hidden in a hat or bag or the number of steps from one room to another. Build sets to develop an understanding of the value of numbers. Say or show your child a number and have him count the correct number of objects to match the number you said.

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