We all know your preschooler needs to learn to share, and count to ten before kindergarten…But what about what your preschooler needs to actually feel prepared? Here’s 10 steps to get your preschooler kinder ready, so they can walk through the door with their head held high, ready to learn.
Reading to your preschooler is beneficial in developing literacy skills, expanding imagination, and creating a lifelong love of reading. Reading books that relate to what your preschooler is going through is a great way to help them understand their situation and find a way to handle it.
For some great books about starting kindergarten check out Scholastic.
2. CREATE ROUTINES
In kindergarten your child will be following daily routines and schedules, so if they’re not already used to following one they may have a hard time with the change. Creating routines at home is a great way to get your preschooler prepared for kindergarten, and also comes with some other great benefits.
3. TEACH RESPONSIBILITY
Having your preschooler do some simple chores around the house is a great way for them to learn some responsibility. They will need to understand that there are things they will have to do in kindergarten that may not always be fun. Some simple chores your preschooler can do or help you do are:
- Clean up their toys
- Feed their pet
- Sort laundry
- Make their bed
4. PRACTICE SKILLS
Practicing important kindergarten readiness skills with your preschooler will help ease the transition into kindergarten and help your preschooler feel more prepared. Check out our article KINDERGARTEN READINESS SKILLS TO PREPARE YOUR PRESCHOOLER for some fun ways you can help your preschooler build their skills at home.
5. BUY SUPPLIES
Your child’s kindergarten will most likely hand out a list of supplies you will need to send your kindergartener to school with on their first day. Your supply list will probably consist of things such as:
- A backpack/lunch carrier
- Blunt tip scissors
- Supply box
- Construction paper
- Glue sticks
- Tissue paper
Including your preschooler in your shopping trip is a great way to help them get excited about school, especially when they get to pick out their own awesome backpack.
6. WORK ON FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS
It’s important for your child to be able to follow directions in kindergarten so that class can flow smoothly, and your child can fully benefit from their time in school. You can help your preschooler learn to follow directions by playing games like Simon says or, red light green light, that require your preschool to pay attention and follow a direct task.
7. BE POSITIVE
While working on building skills it’s important that your preschooler knows that they’re doing a good job and you’re proud of them. Creating positive feelings about learning will help motivate your preschooler to want to learn more.
8. DECREASE NAPS
Kindergarteners don’t usually take naps anymore, so if your preschooler is used to an afternoon nap they may have a hard time adjusting to a full day of kindergarten. Try decreasing the amount of time your preschooler naps for a while, and then eliminate them altogether if possible.
9. VISIT SCHOOL
Take your child to their new school and show them around and talk about all the fun they will have while they’re playing on their new playground, and making new friends. If possible, let your child meet their new teacher before school starts so they feel more comfortable on the first day.
10. DISCUSS FEELINGS
Talk to your preschooler about their feelings about starting kindergarten. Are they scared, or excited? If they’re already excited then that’s great! If your preschooler is still feeling a bit nervous, it may be helpful just to talk to you about it and be reminded that they’re gonna do great, and you’re going to be proud and love them no matter what.
You could share a story with your preschooler about a time when you were scared to do something and you did it anyway. Knowing that even you feel scared sometimes can help your preschooler feel less alone, and realize that fear is just a feeling that can be overcome.