10 ways to prepare your child for kindergarten

The approach of kindergarten can be an emotional time for you and your child. By preparing ahead of time, you can help smooth the transition and help your child hit the ground running with more ease and excitement when school starts!

By Morgan Sparks

Family Fun

Parenting

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As parents, we want nothing more than for our children to be happy and successful in school (and in life).

Preparing for kindergarten is a great way to set them up for success.

However, we know that preparing for kindergarten can be overwhelming for parents. With so much to do, it’s hard to know where to start. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Here are 10 ways to help your child get ready for kindergarten.

1. Encourage a love of learning

One of the best things you can do to prepare your child for kindergarten is to encourage a love of learning. Read stories together, visit the library often, and engage in playful learning activities at home. Encouraging a love of learning early on will encourage a lifelong learning habit that will benefit them in kindergarten and even adulthood.

2. Help them develop good study habits

It’s never too early to start instilling good study habits in your child. Help them understand the importance of focus and concentration. If they struggle with paying attention, try to break tasks down into smaller, more manageable chunks. And make sure to praise their efforts — even recognizing the smallest successes can help encourage your child to keep up the good work.

3. Motivate your children to become independent

One of the biggest adjustments your child will have to make going from preschool to kindergarten and beyond is the level of independence they will be expected to have. Encourage your children to exercise a healthy level of independence by having them pick up after their toys or help with chores around the house, just as a few examples.

4. Socialize them with other children

It’s important that your child starts kindergarten with a strong social foundation. While not all kids will be as interested in socializing as other kids are, even having a few social relationships of their own will help them make the adjustment.  If they haven’t had the chance to socialize much yet, consider putting your child in some kind of hobby or activity that interests them, like ballet, soccer, drawing, Girl/Boy Scouts, and so on.




5. Introduce them to the classroom ahead of time

If your child has never been in a classroom setting before, it can be a big adjustment. To help ease them into the idea of school, try to visit the kindergarten classroom ahead of time. This way, they can get used to the surroundings and see that there’s nothing to be afraid of.

6. Help them practice recognizing letters and numbers

One of the skills your child will need to succeed in kindergarten is the ability to recognize letters and numbers. You can help them practice this skill by pointing out letters and numbers whenever you see them in your everyday life. You can also hang alphabet and number charts in your home and point to the letters and numbers as you sing the alphabet song or count together.

7. Help them practice writing their name

Another skill your child will need to practice before kindergarten is writing their name. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many kids go into kindergarten not knowing how to write their own names. You can help them practice by having them trace their name with their finger, using crayons, markers, or even paint.

8. Encourage them to read with you

One of the best ways to prepare your child for kindergarten is to encourage them to read with you. Reading helps with so many different skills, from vocabulary and grammar to concentration and focus. It’s also a great way to bond with your child and spend some quality time together.

9. Teach them how to follow directions

In order to succeed in kindergarten, your child will need to be able to follow directions. This means being able to listen carefully and then carry out the instructions they’ve been given.

You can help them practice this skill by giving them simple tasks to do around the house, such as getting a specific toy or putting away their clothes. As they get better at following directions, you can increase the difficulty of the tasks.

10. Play games that involve taking turns and sharing

One final way to prepare your child for kindergarten is to play games that involve taking turns and sharing. These are important social skills that will come in handy in the classroom setting. Games such as Simon Says, Mother May I?, and Red Light, Green Light are great for practicing turn-taking and following directions.

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