It can be nerve-wracking when you are preparing to send your child to kindergarten, especially if this is your first rodeo. You have spent the last few years nurturing your child, doing everything you possibly can to soak up these years with them before they begin school. Now all the wonders are starting to flood your brain. Have I done enough to prepare them? How will they handle their first day of school? Have I supplied them with everything they need?
First off, it’s okay to be asking yourself these questions, even the best of parents fear that they have gone wrong somewhere along the way in preparing for their child’s first day of kindergarten. Secondly, Sheldon Acres Child Development Center in Elk Grove is here to help ease your mind by assisting in your child’s preparation for school. In today’s blog we are going to share with you a few of the readiness skills your child should obtain before starting kindergarten. Contact us today with any questions or concerns!
The 9 Major Kindergarten Readiness Skills
- Shapes and Colors
- Numbers and Counting
- Letters and Beginning Sounds
- Reading Preparation
- Writing and Fine Motor Skills
- Cutting and Folding
- Following Multi-Step Instructions
- Paying Attention
- Basic Social Skills
Where To Begin
The recognition of shapes, colors, numbers, and letters comes pretty early on for the majority of children. A simple way to instill these skills into young children is to take the time to point out these items throughout everyday life. Point at a specific color or shape and identify it for them. You can easily use books, flashcards, or everyday objects to do this. Begin to do the same for letters and numbers.
Now it is time to test which ones they know and which ones still need some work. Ask them where something is such as “the blue circle” and wait for them to point to it. Continue to mix and max to identify the shapes, colors, numbers, and letters that need more attention. You can also do this exercise to begin teaching the names of objects and animals.
Taking It To The Next Level
As time goes on, your child will begin vocally identifying the items we previously discussed. This is when all these initial recognition skills get raised to the next level. This is when your child will start counting as well as learning to sound out written words. Read to your child daily and begin to have them follow along as you read. This not only instills the basics of how to approach reading, but it will help them begin to learn common sight words.
Using crayons or colored pencils is also a great way to teach colors and begin to teach them how to create these shapes, numbers, and letters on their own. Encourage your child to color and write often. This not only helps them learn their shapes, colors, numbers, and letters, but will begin to build their fine motor skills that will be utilized a lot in school.
As your child’s fine motor skills increase, introduce them to folding as well as cutting. Draw lines on paper and have them attempt to fold along some lines and cut on others. If you need something that holds their attention longer, have them draw something of their own, and then have them work on cutting it out by themselves.
During exercises like this, you have the chance to instill two other important skills for kindergarten. Give your child multiple steps to follow such as “color a picture, then cut it out, then hang it on the fridge”. Allow them to have some freedom, but be sure to guide them back if they get distracted, and ensure that they complete each of the steps. This will help them increase their attention spans as well as instilling how to follow multi-step instructions. You can do this with just about anything in their everyday life, from cleaning up their toys to getting ready for bed.
Sheldon Acres Child Development Center
Learning some basic social skills with both other kids and adults is the final skill for being prepared for the first day of school. At Sheldon Acres Child Development Center in Elk Grove, we offer a kindergarten readiness program that teaches and increases all nine of these vital preparation skills. We strive to meet your child at their level, and provide activities to help them be more than ready for their first day of kindergarten. Contact us today to learn more!