Friday, February 15, 2013

I am currently teaching in a pre-k classroom and the age old question I have gotten for years is "how can I get my child ready for kindergarten?" Parents are anxious, concerned and even paranoid that their child may not make it into kindergarten, as if it were a college entrance exam. I want to say to all those who find themselves in this same boat, please please just relax. Parents sometimes think that if they practice writing, reading or other "academic like" activities that it will some how better their chance. Bottom line is are they developmentally ready? There is so much more that goes into determining "Kindergarten Readiness." Now I am not here to spew child development theory or research, what I am here to do is offer some simple fun ideas for you to do with your child which will help prepare them for kindergarten, hence the word "help", there are no guarantees. Children develop at different rates. Anywho.......

Sorting candy hearts using a grip/tweezers. This helps strengthen the hand muscles which will later help form the pincer grasp which is needed to hold a pencil properly.
You can use tongs, tweezers, or chop-sticks (kid ones that is)

 Peeling stickers is an excellent way to improve fine motor skills, which are needed to develop writing skills. What kid doesnt like to stick stickers on stuff.


Free writing/coloring.
 By giving children opportunities to freely draw without the use of a ditto-page or a work sheet, you are giving them the opportunity to; strengthen those muscles, freely pre-think and plan what they will put down on paper, and it encourages creativity. When something is created by a child for the child they will put more effort, detail and care into their work. It may look like scribbles at first but as time goes on you will notice their drawings will become much more intentional, meaningful and most of all recognizable.


 Building with blocks seems to most just another form of play. But in actuality it is teaching a child spatial awareness, measurement, balance, accuracy, problem solving, creativity, shapes, and much much more, And you thought it was just play.....

Pretend Play. In Preschool it is referred to as Dramatic play. This is so important for children to participate in because it allows for them to cooperatively play with other children. In doing this they must come together, agree on what they are going to play, and then cooperatively act out this idea they have come up with. This form of play is vital believe it or not. If you don't believe me then google it!                                                                                            

These are just a few examples of activities that are all part of contributing to the "Whole Child." Once children can somewhat master several of these skills then being kindergarten ready is right around the corner. Now you can breath a little better because all you have to do is let your child have fun!

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