Sunday, April 6, 2014

Kindergarten Readiness Skills (and IDEAS to do at home to prepare!)

Kindergarten Readiness Skills for Your Child
Kindergarten is a big step for kiddos (and their parents)! It has also changed a ton since we went to kindergarten! I have poured over tons of resources and consulted with a few kindergarten teachers to make a list of skills that are beneficial for your kiddo to know before entering kindergarten. After the skills listed for each category, I have given a list of ideas and activities that you can do at home to practice these skills. 

There are two things I want you to remember when reading through this list:
The first is that kids develop develop at different rates so don't stress if they aren’t quite there yet on some of the skills– their kindergarten teacher will continue to work on these skills!
The second is that play is so important! They have many years ahead of them to be in school so when you work on the skills make it playful and fun and don't over do it!   

For a printable list go here!

Ok, now for the kindergarten readiness list of skills...

Attention and Following Directions:
*Follows rules and routines
*Can follow multi-step directions
*Manages transitions
*Cleans up after play


Create opportunity for routine
2.   Give your child 2-3 step directions (PJs, brush teeth, get a book)
3.   Work on transitions at home
4.   Play Simon Says with multiple directions
5.   Play Red Light, Green Light, adding new colors and directions

Social Skills:
*Interacts easily w/ one or more children
*Interacts easily w/ familiar adult
*Takes turns and shares
*Identifies and expresses feelings

1.   Give child opportunities to interact w/ other kids
2.   Role play different situations
3.   Play board games to practice taking turns
4.   Set up time w/ other adults if only been w/ parent

Fine Motor Skills:
*Stacks blocks, strings beads, completes puzzle
*Grasps pencil correctly
*Grasps scissors correctly
*Cuts 3” squares, triangles and circles
*Uses appropriate amount of glue for tasks
*Colors inside the lines

1.      Play-dough- Play with and cut play dough, Skewer in play dough, put beads on skewer
2.      Cutting practice (draw zig zags on junk mail)
3.      Give child different types of writing tools (crayons, markers, colored pencils
4.      Cut shape, hole punch edge and lace through holes with yarn
5.      Place pom poms in colored bottles (color practice too)
6.      Poke holes in cardboard box, push in pipe cleaners
7.      Pick up small things (beads, pom poms, beans, noodles, etc) with fingers/clothespins/ chopsticks/tweezers/tongs
8.      Make a toothpick and marshmallow structure
9.      Make necklace with noodles or cut up drinking straws
10.  Nuts & Bolts- manipulating larger nuts and bolts with their fingers, hands, and wrists, coordinating both hands while grasping and twisting the metal nuts onto the bolts
Gross Motor Skills:
*Pedals & steers a tricycle
*Jumps (2 feet), hops (1 foot) and balances (1 foot)
*Throws and catches a ball
*Climbs playground ladder

1.      Play outdoors often (run, jump, climb, catch)
2.      Practice skipping, hopping, galloping

*Uses pictures to communicate ideas
*Writes name with uppercase letter first and
     remaining in lower letter

1.   Give many opportunities to color/draw (not in a coloring book)- Keep markers, pencils, and crayons available and accessible at home. 
2.   Help them learn to write their name. Many unique ways- shaving cream, salt, finger paint, crayon resist, tape resist, yarn & sand paper, sidewalk chalk, dots, bubble letters. 
3.   Involve them in your writing activities. Make a shopping list together and point out the words that start with the same letter as the child's name.
4.   Read books with kids. Early and frequent exposure to letters, sounds, words, and stories helps kids learn to read and write
Letter Recognition:
*Recites (sing) alphabet
*Identifies upper and lower case letters

1.   Play games to recognize letters (hide & seek w/ fridge magnets, alphabet go fish) 
2.   Alphabet Kits (Brainstorm In Bloom Alphabet – letter of the week:  alphabet wall letter, books, arts/crafts, activities, letter formation, music & movement and snack related to that letter)

Reading Readiness:
*Listens w/ interest to stories read aloud
*Retells information from a story (1st, 2nd, last)
*Knows how to hold book and that words go left to right and top to bottom
*Identifies letter sounds

1.   Read every day (20 min) 
2.   After reading, ask what happened in the beg, mid and end 
3.   Run your finger under words to show left to right and top to bottom (put stickers on paper left to right or toys in a row) 
4.   Go on a hunt for items that begin w/ same sound 
5.   Overemphasize the sounds in words to help hear individual sounds (you: h-a-t   them: hat  Great car/waiting game) 
6.   Play rhyming word games to help hear similar sounds

Number Recognition and Counting:
*Can rote count to 20
*Counts objects to 10
*Writes numerals (1-10)
*Matches numerals (0-10) 
*States phone number and address

1.   Count throughout the day (crackers, socks, toys) 
2.   Point out numbers you see in the environment (signs, boxes) 
3.   Practice phone # and address  
4.   Practice using manipulatives (stickers, pom poms,etc) Confessions of a Homeschooler math printables - check out the sticker math sheet
Shapes and Colors: 
*Identifies circle, square, rectangle and triangle
*Identifies main colors (red, yellow, blue, green,, orange, purple, brown, black, white, pink)
*Sorts by shape, color and size
*Recognizes simple patterns and duplicates them

1.    Go on a shape hunt 
2.    Make shape collage 
3.    Sort items by color, shape and size (blocks, toys, etc) Brainstorm in Bloom play and learn with goldfish
4.    Patterns w/ pom poms, dots, legos 
5.    Use descriptive words (more than, less than, under, below, bigger, greater, less, smaller, etc)  

Please BRAINSTORM your ideas/suggestions in the COMMENTS below for the Kindergarten Readiness Skills

Happy Teaching and Playing!
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