from: Raquel Jarramillo, Director and Editor of Brain Quest
What Can Parents Do to Prepare Their Kids for Kindergarten?
There are lots of things parents can do to help their pre-schooler get ready for Kindergarten. Emotionally, this can be a challenging time for a child. Suddenly he’s faced with all sorts of social issues, and he’s not always prepared for how to deal with them. Will the other kids like me? Will the teachers like me? What if I have to go to the bathroom? What if I get hungry? What if I don’t understand the things they’re teaching me? According to Jaramillo, parents who take the time to explore these fears with their children well before the first day of school, and to encourage them to “practice” these situations at home will boost the child’s self-confidence and self-awareness.
Other important ways to prepare your child to do well in kindergarten include:
1. Read with your child on a daily basis.
2. Play ABC games that encourage your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet—both uppercase and lowercase. Ask your child to “find the letter” in newspaper articles, on menus, or in street signs.
3. Have your child practice his pre-writing skills with activities that build hand-eye coordination. Games such as Connect-the-Dots, tracing shapes, and coloring books are good ways to build fine motor skills and coordination.
4. Play 1-2-3 games that encourage your child to know his numbers 1-10 and beyond. Ask your child to find numbers on the remote control, on bus lines, and maps.
5. Play addition games with your child using real objects. If you give him raisins for lunch, ask him to count out ten, add five, and then count the total to see how many he has.
6. Introduce the eight primary colors to your child, and have him practice distinguishing them from each other.
7. When your child is coloring, ask him what colors he used. Ask him to talk about his drawings.
8. Have your child sort objects by color, by type, by taste. If you’re cooking, let your child sort all the sweet-flavored items into one group for you, or all the green vegetables.
9. Have your child lead you around the neighborhood, guiding you to your home, to the local store, to the bus stop.
10. Discuss the world around you whenever and wherever you are. Explain what you can, and let your child explain things to you. Don’t correct your child too often. Eventually he’ll know what he needs to know, but for now it’s okay to believe in magical things.
Brain Quest® is America’s #1 bestselling educational tool and has been giving kids a dose of fun while they learn for more than 15 years. With over 30 million decks sold and over 1.5 million workbooks in print—and even a top-selling iPhone app—Brain Quest has just launched another new format: Brain Quest Write & Erase sets, which are geared to kids heading into kindergarten.