Given that it back to school time, I’m bringing out these old 10 tips we got from the Y that caregivers and parents should consider to make sure their child or children are ready for Kindergarten:
- Play games that encourage alphabet recognition – The alphabet go-fish game works as do those letter refrigerator magnets.
- Help your child with number recognition by counting items throughout the day, for example. Count out loud the crackers, grapes, or carrots you put out for them to eat for snack, for example.
- Help children recognize their colors. As you go about your day, talk about the colors in their cookies, toys or clothes, for example.
- Develop shape recognition and motor skills by getting your child to practice writing, drawing or cutting out (child-safe scissors please) shapes like rectangles, squares or stars.
- Talk about sounds that letters make and how they sound so they can begin to recognize words. Overemphasize the first sound in words to help your child learn to recognize individual sounds.
- Practice writing and drawing with colored pencils, crayons or markers to help them improve their motor skills.
- Read lots of stories and work up to longer books to help them develop good focus and learn to pay attention.
- Give children the opportunity to interact with other children in diverse settings and groups such as preschool, church, social groups, or play dates. Socialization is a big part of kindergarten.
- Teach children how to express their feelings. Help your child learn the best way to behave if she/he doesn’t like something. Role-play different situations she/he might expect.
- Teach children to write his/her name. You can make it fun with finger paint, sugar or salt in a pan, shaving cream or frosting.