Helping Families Kick-Start Kindergarten Readiness

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Even though it’s only February, families with four year olds are already talking about next year’s trip to kindergarten. Entering kindergarten is one of the biggest milestones in a young child’s life; it’s their first time being away from home all day, their first time meeting new children, and their first year of classroom learning! While all of these are exciting things, they can cause parents to wonder “Is my child prepared for kindergarten? What does she really need to know by now?”

Cue Kick-Start Kindergarten Readiness. This fantastic book by Alison Pepper discusses what skills children should know before entering kindergarten and provides activities to build them. The author explains basic skills in science, math, language, reading, and social interactions, and provides a template for pre-kindergarten learning that parents and educators can follow to ensure their child’s preparation. These skills include:

Oral Language

  • Expressing herself verbally (words, fragments, and full sentences)
  • Communicating pain or sickness
  • Expressing basic needs (hunger, thirst, the need to use the bathroom, etc.)
  • Communicating wants to adults and children (i.e. “I want that toy”)

Emerging Literacy

  • Understanding the connection between spoken words and written symbols (even if she can’t yet read)
  • Knowing the names and sounds of some of the letters in the alphabet

Social Emotional Skills

  • Being able to play alongside another child
  • Beginning to learn turn-taking and sharing
  • Knowing some emotion words and the feelings associated with them

M​ath

  • Understanding that numbers signify how many of something there are
  • Using number words during playtime, even if the numbers are not correct (saying, “I need seventeen dinosaurs” and then taking out three instead)

Science

Motor Skills

  • Ability to grasp, hold, and carry items
  • Balancing on one foot
  • Running without tripping

With these skills, children can be prepared to enter kindergarten. Start practicing them today to ensure your child’s ready to take on the world!

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