Ideas to Help Your Child Prepare
for the Kindergarten Transition
Children adjust to change differently. Some may be ready to run out of the door and head right into their kindergarten classroom while others may want their parents to be in school with them. Regardless of where your child is on this continuum, your child's teacher is ready to help him/her adjust to their new classroom and the school setting.
Here are some things you can do as you help your child prepare for kindergarten.
- Continue to read to your child every day. Schlow Library has a wonderful selection of picture books for kindergarten children. There are several good books that focus on kindergarten you might want to read. Some favorites are Miss Bindergarten Kindergarten books, Countdown to Kindergarten, The Night Before Kindergarten - all are available at Schlow Library.
- Over the summer, visit and play on the school playground with your child. It will help him/her begin to feel comfortable with his/her school (especially since many children say recess and play time are their favorites!).
- Set up play times with other kindergarten children in the neighborhood so they will have some familiar faces when they come to school.
- Play games together like Candyland, Uno, Memory Game, Go Fish, etc. to help your child learn how to play cooperatively, take turns, and lose gracefully.
- Sing the alphabet song together.
- Count everyday objects together. For example, when sorting the cleaned laundry, have him/her count the socks.
- Encourage your child to color, draw, and create using a variety of tools (pencils, crayons, scissors, glue, glue sticks, etc.) while holding the paper with their opposite hand to stabilize it.
- When writing and drawing, encourage your child to hold the tool with three fingers only and have him/her start all letters, numbers, and shapes at the top of the line and go down with left to right directionality. (Children have a tendency to want to start at the bottom and go up, which is an inefficient writing technique when they begin writing in school.)
- Copy shapes - vertical, horizontal, t-shaped, and diagonal lines, circles, squares, and triangles.
- If your child is expressing an interest, show him/her how to write his/her name using a top to bottom stroke and left to right directionality.
- Practice self-help skills with your child: using the bathroom, washing hands, blowing his/her nose, sneezing and coughing into his/her arm (not hand), and dressing (buttons, zippers, snaps, and buckles). Many children still need help with dressing skills, especially in winter with snow clothes as well as tying shoes. The teachers are always available to help!
- Participate in your child's school transition, orientation, and welcome sessions.
- Go shopping for a school back pack and lunch box. Each school website should have a list of school supplies we ask families to provide.