Podcast: Preparing for Kindergarten

For parents of a preschooler, the debate over whether to start school or wait a year is especially hard. The decision seems daunting, and the impact of a wrong decision seems overwhelming.  We encourage you to listen to this class online with our own Director of Stonebriar Preschool Pals, Kelley Wilkinson. As an expert in this age group who has worked closely with Frisco ISD, Kelley will objectively outline the markers to consider in your child’s readiness and steps you can take now to be ready later.  Below are several Tips and Activities Kelley recommends as you work toward your child readiness.  Audio replay is available at the bottom of this post.

Preparation for Kindergarten


Tips for Gross Motor Kills:

Give yourself a hug, touch your toes, jump back and forth over a jump rope, kick/throw a ball, ride a tricycle/bicycle, hula hoops, walk up and down stairs with alternating feet (when old enough), walk backwards, walk in straight and curvy lines, do the motions to Macarena while saying months of the year

Tips for Fine Motor Skills:

  • Tearing construction paper into pieces and making a picture with the small pieces,
  • Hole punching paper with hand held puncher,
  • Paint or write on vertical surfaces- easels, paint fence with water, color on paper taped under your table while laying on your back,
  • Practice giving an autograph to family members,
  • Use small tweezers/tongs to pick up cotton balls, pom-poms, beans, pasta.
  • Move pasta, beans, or pom-poms from one tray to an ice cube tray/muffin pan using tweezers/tongs.
  • Use magnetic letters on cookie sheet or easel

Tips for Cognitive Development:

  • Create picture schedules for the child’s daily routines
  • Take time to listen to your child. Allow time for them to completely express themselves.
  • Give clear and concise 2-3 step directions and follow
  • Play matching games- match socks in the laundry, what things go together (hammer/nail, shoes/socks, rain, umbrella)
  • Play game of “Same or Different”

Tips for Language / Literacy Development:

  • Have child draw picture to retell story
  • Can child remember details of story based on pictures on each page
  • Can child recognize letter out of alphabetical order
  • Cut letters out of newspapers/magazines to spell their names in family
  • Ask letters of well-known signs- Starbucks, Chick-fil-a
  • Have them tell details about their pictures/artwork
  • Practice writing upper and lower case letters with different mediums
  • Put pictures in sequential order
  • Learn books are read from left to right, top to bottom, front to back
  • Read to your child daily
  • Magnetic letters help spelling and letter recognition
  • Practice writing in shaving cream on the table
  • Predict what they think will happen next in a story before turning the page
  • When looking at a new page what do they think will happen based on pictures
  • Play Simon Says game- great practice for following directions
  • Follow directions for daily tasks- fold laundry, put dishes in dishwasher, set table

Tips for Math / Science:

  • Learn to count and recognize numbers 1-10
  • Count their food, how many times they can jump, how fast a task can be completed
  • Look at patterns all around us and talk about them
  • Learn A/B patterns- fork spoon fork… what is next
  • Learn A/B/C patterns- milk juice water, milk juice water, milk juice….. what’s next
  • Sing songs with numbers in them- 5 Little monkeys jumping on the bed
  • Learn one to one correspondence- count the number out loud as you touch each item in a group
  • Skip counting- say a number out loud then say the next number quiet in your head- say 2 out loud, say 3 quietly, say 4 out loud, say 5 quietly
  • Ask what do you think will happen if…?- if I throw the ball in the house, if I jump on the couch. Allow child time to answer what they think
  • Play board/card games with counting- Candy Land, Go Fish, Chutes and Ladders
  • Get child familiar with the words “less” and “more”
  • Sort into same groups- forks, knives, spoons, all red items, all pictures in group are bugs

Tips for Social / Emotional Development:

  • Be consistent in your answers, consequences, routines
  • Teach conflict resolution- how should I handle my feelings appropriately
  • Give child examples of how to say or ask for things
  • Attach words to their feelings so they will learn how to express it correctly- happiness, sad, scared, silly, angry, hungry
  • Talk less and listen to your child more
  • Allow them time to tell you everything they need to- all the details
  • Celebrate their independence on self-help skills- brushing teeth, getting dressed, brushing hair, cleaning themselves after restroom, taking dishes to sink
  • Learn to tie their own shoe
  • Learn to blow their own nose without help
  • How to be a good friend
  • Learn how to have quiet times, go to library, devotional time, while older siblings are doing their homework
  • Learn their home address, parents real names and phone #,
  • Allow child to make family book- draw each member or cut out pictures of things you like to do together
  • Allow child to order their own food at restaurant
  • Practice looking at people when talking to them
  • Practice following 4-5 step instructions quickly and completely

AUDIO: Replay the lesson audio below. (If you experience an issue playing the audio in your web browser, please click on the “Download” link which is located below or to the side of the audio player. This should allow you to download the audio file and play it directly on your device. Also, you can click here to download and play audio in the blog feed.)

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