Starting preparation early is key for establishing a strong educational foundation. Read on for some of our top tips for preparing for kindergarten.
1. Letter Recognition
Many young children know the ABC song by heart. However, when asked to point out one individual letter by name they are not able to do so successfully. This happens often, as songs are easy to memorize thanks to the melodic tune and the repetitive nature of singing. One great way to start preparing for kindergarten is to practice identifying letter names with your student. You can do this by using the ABC Mix Up Challenge. The letters are all mixed up on purpose. Use the challenge guide to have your child identify as many letters as they can. You can also start by telling them the name of each letter and having them repeat it back to you. Try using this script to start:
“This letter is F. What’s this letter?”
Be sure your child is looking at the letter as they repeat back the name of the letter. This will help them make a one to one connection with the name and the letter. Be sure to practice both upper case and lowercase letters. Here are more letter activities too!
2. Name Writing
Have your child practice writing their first and last name. Start out by writing your child’s first and last name in clear, large letters. Then review each letter with them. Start by stating the name of the letter then having them repeat it back to you. You can use the script below to help you with this activity.
“This is how you write your first and last name. The first letter in your name is ______(point to the first letter). What letter is this (while you are still pointing at it)? The next letter is ______ (point to the next letter). What letter is this (while you are still pointing at it)?”
Continue this script as you go through all of the letters in your child’s first and last name. You can repeat this activity a few times as a warm-up.
Next, have your child trace his or her clearly printed name that you wrote for them, using a crayon (because a crayon is thicker than a pen or pencil it will be slightly easier for them to use). As they are tracing each letter tell them the letter name, then have them repeat it back to you. You can use the script below to help you with this activity.
“You are tracing the letter ______. What letter are you tracing?”
Repeat this script as they trace each letter in their first and last name. You can do this activity with different colored markers or sidewalk chalk to mix up the fun!
3. Counting – One to One Connection
Similar to how children memorize the ABC song, many children sound like they are strong counters because they memorize the rhythm of counting from 1 to 10, but struggle with understanding that each number represents a value. That’s why a great counting activity is as simple as having your child count objects by moving them from one pile to another. Any object works! Socks- if you are doing laundry. Crayons- if your kiddo loves to color. Even rocks or leaves- if you are at the park!
Have a small pile of any object then ask your child to pick up each object and move it to a new pile counting as they go. Use this script to start the game.
“Here is a pile of crayons. How many crayons are in this pile? Pick up each crayon as you count.”
If your child gets stuck or skips a number, help them get back on track. Once you finish with one object you could even ask them what they want to count next to make it even more interactive!
Literacy is critical to the development of a child. Even reading for a short 15-20 minutes will have an amazing impact on preparing your child! Benefits include brain development, language development, and strengthening family relationships. Reading out loud to your child will help their brain make connections between written and spoken words. It also allows you to explore endless possibilities together as a family. Here are some wonderful book lists to start exploring!
5. Tour the School
Visiting a new school will help your child visualize where they are going. Be sure to visit the classrooms, the cafeteria, and playground. Throughout the tour ask your child questions like “Which desk would you want to choose?” “How does this space make you feel?” “Do you want to practice how you’ll walk to the classroom on your first day of school?” These questions will help you and your child to be more confident about your first day. Be sure you give yourself enough time to meet the teachers and the front office staff. Ask the questions to help YOU prepare for this transition too!
Some good questions include:
- What time must the students arrive to not be considered late?
- Where does drop off/afternoon pick up happen?
- Can we pack a snack?
- What does the daily schedule look like?
- If my child gets sick, how do you communicate home?
These are great tips for preparing your child for kindergarten!
Want to Know More About Vista College Preparatory?
If you want to send your child to one of the best schools in Phoenix, you should consider Vista College Preparatory. The staff is committed to creating an environment where every student can succeed. If you have further questions about VCP before enrolling your child in our program, be sure to check out our FAQ section. You can also contact us at any time.