How to prepare your child for Kindergarten

Kindergarten teachers often get asked by parents how they can best prepare their children for Kindergarten.  Sometimes, parents simply want an academic answer. What should my child know? Should they be able to count to 20, name the alphabet letters and/or write their name? Other parents are wanting to know how independent their child should be? Do they need to do their own toileting, dressing, and/or opening of lunch items?

To be honest, upon entry to Kindergarten, teachers meet each student where they are. As parents, you want to prepare your child so that this transition is as easy as possible for your child. 

Here are some things that you can do to help your child prepare for Kindergarten.

  • Read with your child – children will learn so much from your reading times. They will learn the concepts of print and how to track words in a book.
  • Show your child what their name looks like in print. Teach them to recognize this and even help them to learn how to print their name. Ideas: Write your child’s name in large letters – have them drive their cars over the letters, place mini erasers on the letters to form each letter, or write them in sidewalk chalk or using a wet sponge paint brush.
  • Count objects when out for walks, lining up their toys, or collecting rocks outside. 
  • Independence – your child should be able to open and close their own snack and lunch containers. Practice this by enjoying summer time picnics where your child has their own picnic lunch in their school lunch bag and they practice opening their own containers to enjoy their lunch.
  • In Kindergarten, your child will need to use the bathroom independently. Spend time encouraging them to do this and teaching them how to properly wipe their bottom.
  • With each season change comes new clothing items to learn how to put on and take off. Practice these at home. Zippers and buttons can be tough for little hands. If needed, help your child by beginning the zipper and having them pull it the remaining way. 
  • Spending time in play with other children their age will teach your child some of the necessary social skills. How to be kind, share toys, and solve problems are just some of these. 

These are just some of the ways that you can help prepare your child for Kindergarten. But more importantly, establish routines with your child that allow them to get the rest they need and give them the opportunity to experience things in the world. Talk to them and listen to their feelings. Be positive about their new school and encourage them to be positive and to always try their best. 

Finally, I would encourage you, as your child’s parent, to communicate with your child’s new teacher. Share with them what your child’s likes and dislikes are. Come to them with any concerns you may have but even better, share with them the things your child has really enjoyed. 


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