For young kids entering kindergarten, summer is the ideal time to instill the skills that will make the transition to school smoother.
Kindergarten has changed a lot since most of us started school. Today’s 5-year-olds are expected to arrive with basic academic and social skills so they are prepared on day one to start learning to read, write and do basic math.
First Things First has a list of simple things parents and caregivers can do this summer to help kindergarteners prepare for their big day. Some tips include:
- Read to your child at least 30 minutes per day.
- Talk to your child; make up stories or songs.
- Play games about colors, numbers and shapes of objects. Point out letters and repeat them.
- Encourage your child to draw on plain paper with crayons.
- Make sure that all immunizations are current and have your child visit the dentist.
- Start talking to your child about the change that is coming when they start school. Be positive.
- Talk with your child and set an example of sharing and putting things back where they belong.
- Talk with your child about a typical school day. The more your child knows, the less anxiety he is likely to experience.
- Do a test-run of the new routine, including laying out clothes the night before, waking up with enough time to get ready and eating breakfast.
- Give your child a family picture for their pocket or backpack; reassure them about what time you will be back to pick them up.
- Most importantly, celebrate and enjoy this milestone with your child!
Additional tips can be found at azftf.gov in the Parent Section under Early Education.
Even if you don’t have kindergarteners this year, it’s never too early to start helping kids prepare. Children who have positive early childhood experiences tend to score higher on school readiness assessments and are more likely to do well in school and graduate.
By turning everyday moments into learning moments, we can send our children to school with the skills – and the love of learning – that will help them succeed in kindergarten and beyond!
New Directions Institute, a program of Arizona’s Children Association, provides parents and caregivers with training and tools to help every infant, toddler and preschooler in Arizona develop a healthy brain and enter school ready to learn. Parents, parents-to-be, grandparents, childcare providers, and others who care for infants and toddlers are invited to join New Directions Institute for one of our FREE presentations of the latest research and techniques to "wire up" your child's brain for a successful future.
Workshops include: Wired for Success®, Kinder Prep A & B Pre-literacy Program, Brain Time with Brain Boxes®, S.T.E.P.S.® Plus and Nurturing Parenting. To learn more about New Directions Institute or the free workshops, visit www.newdirectionsinstitute.org.