Activities recommended by teachers to help prepare your child for Kindergarten
The following activities help to develop skills and promote success as well as self confidence in children. With each success comes an increased willingness to participate and learn with eagerness.
Lunch Boxes: There are many different types of lunch boxes including latch/snap, zipper and Velcro. Practicing over the summer manipulating different closures will help prepare your child.
Milk Cartons: Children will be given small cartons of milk and will need to learn to open them without spillage. Practice and show your child where and how to place their fingers on the designated spots to pull the carton open. Small cartons are available in the grocery stores.
Drinking Straws: Teach your child how to remove the paper from their straw and place it in their drink.
Cafeteria: Children will be expected to move through a lunch line, cafeteria style, making food choices, handling and carrying a tray with food items – many in open containers. Practice at home carrying unbreakable dishes, bowls of water to monitor spillage, and eating utensils. Children can practice with a tray or cookie sheet.
Eating Utensils: Practice at mealtime using spoons forks and napkins to wipe their face and hands. It would also be helpful if they practiced cleaning up their used dishes and throw away items.
Bathroom-Hygiene skills: Very important that your child knows how to wipe themselves thoroughly and hand washing after toileting is a necessity. Practice using a hand dryer in public places.
Clothing/Dressing Independence: Practice teaching your child to button and unbutton; zip/unzip jackets pants etc, pull on overhead sweatshirts, button front sweaters and shirts, being able to turn an inside out shirt, right side out. Winter Months: Getting snow pants, boots and gloves on are important dressing skills. Can you imagine getting 20 kids ready to go outside?
Readiness Skills: Practice identifying colors. With supervision, practice scissors skills, holding small scissors correctly and cutting using two hands, holding markers and pencils correctly, practice sitting and listening to a story. Start with brief stories and build up to 10 minutes. Have children practice holding a book correctly and ask them a questions about the story to help them learn to listen and pay attention to the story.
Shapes: Activities to help children recognize a circle, square, triangle, rectangle are helpful like coloring or puzzles.
Math: Count to five or even up to 10.It is helpful to practice numbers as a group.
ELA: Practice recognition of letters of the alphabet and their sounds- ie: when playing with a ball “B” for ball then make “B” sound. Have your child practice printing the letters of their name 1st letter upper case, rest of letters lower case. Practice printing on sidewalk in chalk and paintbrush water.
Practicing in a nurturing relaxed home environment will help children learn and build confidence. Playing and interacting with other children helps build social skills and teaches children to share and work together. We look forward to working with your children.
Lori Walczyk, OTR/L