Monday, November 26, 2012

Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten

Let’s face it: Kindergarten isn’t what it used to be. Right or wrong, it is the world we
live in. The following list is intended to help prepare your child in a variety of

developmental areas to make the transition into kindergarten as smooth as possible.
Believe it or not, just 15-20 minutes of playing and learning with your child can make a
world of difference

Social/Emotional Development

Encourage your child to persist in tasks when encountering a problem by giving
him tasks slightly above his current ability level. When your child cannot find a
solution on his own, encourage him to calmly ask for help.Play board games to practice taking turns.o

Set up several play dates with friends of various ages.

Allow your child to stay with other trusted adults for a few hours at a time prior to

kindergarten (especially if she has rarely been in the care of someone other than
mom and dad).

Tell your child you expect her to clean up after play. You could implement a
ransom box for toys left out

Language Development

Verbally give your child specific one-step and two-step directions and encourage
him to follow through.

Read to your child for a combined total of at least 20 minutes each day.
While reading, point out how to hold a book (right-side up with the spine on the
left) and the orientation in which we read the words and look at the pictures (left
to right).After reading, ask your child what happened in the beginning, middle, and end of
the story.Give your child plenty of opportunities to draw (without coloring books). Ask her
to draw the things she sees around her.

Teach your child the uppercase and lowercase letters and, most importantly, the
sounds each letter makes through play and games. 

Cognitive Development

Have your child help you sort items according to color, size, and shape (laundry,
blocks, silverware, toys, and other household items work well).Teach your child to make various patterns (red, blue, red, blue). Garage sale dot
stickers or craft pom-poms are great for this purpose.
Practice counting aloud to 20 while driving in the car.

Teach your child numerals 1-10.
objects in your home. Have your child point to each object as she counts.o

Go on a shape hunt. Point out circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles to yourchild while you are taking or walk or grocery shopping.

Talk about positional and directional concepts like up/down, over/under, in/out behind/in front of, top/bottom, beside/between, off/on, stop/go.

Talk about opposite words (big/little, empty/full, slow/fast).

Physical Development (Gross & Fine Motor)

Give your child plenty of opportunities for outdoor play: running, jumping, and climbing. 

Play catch on a regular basis.

Practice skipping.

Stack blocks together.

Let your child use child-safe scissors to cut out a variety of shapes.

Teach your child to write his name (capital for the first letter and lowercase for the remaining letters). To start, write his name using a highlighter and encourage him to trace over it. Be sure that he forms the letters from the top to the bottom.

Ensure your child is holding her pencil correctly

Play with playdough regularly. Roll, squish, stamp, and even cut it!o

Encourage your child to cut out various shapes using child-safe scissors.

String large beads to make a necklace.

Play with an interlocking puzzle together.
Creative Arts

Always encourage pretend play…occasionally join your child in his fantasy world.

Teach your child to recognize the following colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, white, brown, and pink. 
Use a variety of materials to let your child paint, draw and explore!

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