Last week I shared four strategies to help you prepare your young child for kindergarten. Here are four more quick and easy ways to make the transition from summer to kindergarten both smooth and productive.
- Help him practice and master basic social skills. Basic social skills can be something as simple as looking at someone when being spoken to, or when speaking. Practice taking turns and sharing materials, tools, and toys. Work on self-control and cooperating. Try easily transitioning from one activity to another. Be sure he always says “please” and “thank you.” These social skills will give your child a solid foundation at school for successfully interacting with adults and peers.
- Help her recognize and write her full name. Take a standard-size piece of white paper. Turn it horizontally. Make three straight lines, left to right, across the paper with a ruler. Make the first line about three inches from the top, then make one in the middle, and the last one about three inches from the bottom. On the top and middle lines, using a pink, green or blue highlighter, print her name, using one capital letter and the rest lowercase; for example, Charlotte Kelly. (A yellow highlighter won’t work, as it’s too light.) Then have her trace her name, with a pencil, inside the highlighted letters. This gives a solid boundary in which to practice the letter formations. On the last line have her practice writing it all by herself. Keep working with the highlighter base until she can easily write her name without it
- Look and listen for visual and auditory patterns together. Recognizing and understanding patterns is an important skill for young children. It is needed to promote critical thinking in both reading and math.
- Recognize basic color words. The ability to recognize basic color words (red, green, yellow, purple, blue, black, and brown) is helpful for a child to complete independent work. An easy way to practice this is make a “Color Word Pizza Wheel.”
These simple activities will ensure that your child is well prepared to start the wonderful adventures of kindergarten.