Time flies! It seems like it was just yesterday when you brought your little bundle of joy home from the hospital. Now, they’re all grown up and getting ready to start kindergarten.
As much as you wish they could stay little forever, there comes a time when you have to let them go and explore. Starting kindergarten will most likely be harder on you, the parent than it will on your little ones. To make sure starting kindergarten is easy for them, though, there are a few kindergarten exercises that they can begin doing now.
The more prepared your little ones are for this new chapter in life, the more at ease they will be, and you will be when it comes time to drop them off on the first day. Start them off strong by practicing a few of these activities listed below with them until they’re pros!
1. Tracing Their Names
On the first day of school, their kindergarten teacher will want to know each one of their names. Your children will be required to write down their names on all their work that they complete in school. To get your children ready for this, have them trace their names on a large piece of paper.
If your children don’t know how to spell their names, then you’ll want to start there. Practice spelling their names with them and then have them trace their names. Write the letters big enough so they can easily trace them.
Once they get better at it, you can then have them try to trace smaller letters.
2. Writing and Reciting the Alphabet
Their names are a good starting place, but they’ll need to know how to write and recite the alphabet as well. Practice singing the alphabet with them until they know the song well enough to sing it on their own. When you sing with them, show them each letter as you say it.
If you have an alphabet book, this is the best way to teach them what the letters look like while you sing. Once they know the alphabet, you can then have them trace all the letters.
Again, start by having them trace large letters and transition them to smaller ones once they get better at tracing.
3. Recognizing Shapes and Colors
Shapes, colors, and patterns are also kindergarten essentials. Practice going over some basic shapes with your children until they’re able to recognize them in every-day life. You can use a book at home with the different shapes in it to get them started and then begin to point out the different shapes in the world.
You can do this when driving in the car, when doing your grocery shopping, and so much more. Be sure to do the same with colors as well. Start by teaching them colors in a book or different colors around the home and then point them out to your children while outside the house as well.
For example, when in a store, you can grab a plate, show your children, and say, “this plate is a circle, and this plate is blue.”
4. Writing Numbers and Counting
Your children should also have an idea of how to write numbers and how to count to at least 10. Just like you did with letters, you can begin teaching them numbers by counting in a number book.
Say the number aloud to them and allow them to recite them to you. Now they know what the numbers look like and how to say them. You can then have them trace the numbers until they’re able to write them on their own.
Practice different songs that help them count until they’re able to count to 10 on their own. If they’re able to do this, you can then try to teach them to count higher. The more they know, the better.
5. Cutting on the Lines With Scissors
Children in kindergarten will need to know how to cut on lines with scissors as well. Help them at home by drawing dotted lines on a paper with a black marker. Then, allow them to use their safety scissors to cut along the lines.
Teach them how to stay on the black-dotted line rather than cutting wherever they’d like. If needed, you can pick up a few inexpensive books at the dollar store with cutting patterns in them for your child to practice.
Once they see how beautiful the final product is, if you stay on the lines, they’ll want to do their best each time.
6. Reading Simple Sentences Aloud
Your kindergarteners won’t be expected to read full chapter books aloud to the class, but they should know how to read simple sentences or sight words. Practice reading with them at home when you lay them down at night before bed.
You can contact their school and ask them what the kindergartener sight words are or do a simple search for them online. Once you know what the sight words are, you can practice these with your children, so they’re able to recognize them on their own.
7. Following Directions and Cleaning Up
One of the biggest transitions your children will make when entering kindergarten is learning how to follow directions and how to clean up. Your children will find their independence during this time.
If possible, begin teaching your children now how to follow classroom directions such as raising a hand before speaking, sitting in their chairs nicely during activities, cleaning up after an activity, and more.
Which Kindergarten Exercises Does Your Child Need Help With?
If your children need help with some of these kindergarten exercises or other exercises, then placing them in a pre-school program is the best way to ensure they’re prepared for kindergarten.
Parents can do all of these exercises at home, but with busy work schedules and other daily life tasks, it’s not always easy to incorporate these exercises at home. Find a reputable pre-school that’ll work with your children to prepare them for kindergarten that will give everyone peace of mind.
Contact us today and schedule a tour with our pre-school to speak with us about how we can help your children prepare for kindergarten!