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Preparing for Kindergarten

  • How Parents Can Help Prepare Their Children for Kindergarten
    Parents and teachers recognize that each child grows at his or her own particular rate. Parents can help develop a happy inter-relationship between home and school by encouraging children in the following areas:

    Putting On Clothes

    • Knowing his or her own clothing (put name on coats, hats, scarves, mittens, and boots)
    • Putting on clothes in logical order
    • Buttoning  and/ or zipping coats
    • Putting on outdoor clothing
    • Tying shoes
      (Send your child in slip-on or Velcro shoes until this skill is learned.)
    • Hanging up clothes in orderly fashion

    Using the Toilet

    • To go to the toilet without help (have clothing which can be managed alone)
    • To flush  the toilet
    • To wash hands after flushing the toilet         

    Healthy Habits

    • Before school begins, establish a morning routine in your home.
    • Sleep ten to twelve hours  each night
    • Enjoy quiet time during the day
    • Eat well- balanced and unhurried meals (hungry and tired children are not good candidates for a successful school day)
    • Wash hands before eating
    • Learn to turn the head or use a tissue when sneezing or coughing


    • Teach your child his or her full address and phone number.
    • Teach your child the way to school.
    • Teach him or her to look both ways before crossing the street.

    Developing Desirable Play Habits

    • Play with brothers and sisters
    • Play and share with other children
    • Make new friends
    • Feel the importance of taking turns and sharing  with others
    • Reinforce helpful behaviors
    • Help make decisions in family activities or recreation
    • Provide opportunities for outdoor play.

    Talking and Listening

    • Encourage your child to speak in short sentences about things which interest him or her.
    • Encourage your child to look at the speaker.
    • Encourage your child to take turns speaking and listening in group conversations
    • Help him or her to speak distinctly.
    • Read books to your child each day, and reinforce good listening skills.
    • Encourage your child to follow 3-step directions.

    Gross (Large Muscle) Motor Skills

    • Provide opportunities for outdoor play
    • Encourage your child to run and skip
    • Teach your child how to throw, catch, and kick a ball 

    Fine Motor Skills

    • Give your child opportunities to work with crayons, pencils, and washable markers.
    • Reinforce correct pencil grip (See the A-OK handout)
    • Provide opportunities for your child to cut paper with scissors.
    • Encourage work with toys that will strengthen your child’s hands or hand-eye coordination – small building toys like legos, pegboards or Lite-Brite, puzzles, play- doh.

    Getting Ready to Read

    • Teach your child to write his or her name using the correct form (first letter only in uppercase.)
    • Work on identifying colors.
    • Sing the alphabet song and add an ABC Book to your daily read-aloud.
    • Work on naming letters.
    • Read to your child each day. On several pages, run your finger under the line of print as you read.
    • Encourage your child to draw pictures and to tell you about the pictures. 

    Getting Ready for Math

    • Count aloud with your child to 20.
    • Count up to 10 objects with 1 to 1 correspondence.
    • Work on identifying numerals to 10.
    • Begin to write numbers to 10.
    • Add a number book to your read-aloud time.
    • Work on naming shapes – circle, square, rectangle, triangle, oval, diamond.
    • Have your child help sort items – toys, socks, etc.