Monday, June 29, 2015

Kindergarten Prep Activities

At the end of each year,  my school gives a Kindergarten Readiness Test to our incoming students. After the test, I am often asked by the parents about what they can work on with their child over the summer.  As a kindergarten teacher, I know that I will receive a wide range of students with varying skill levels.  The test just gives me a snapshot of what they know coming into kindergarten. I try to stress to them  to not stress about what their child doesn't know and to trust me that they will learn it. 

This year is a little different for me, as my own daughter will be entering Kindergarten.  I know that all to soon,  she will be entering a classroom which may or may not have a lot of exploration time. I want her to work on the skills that I know she will need when she enters her classroom, but I want her to do it in a fun way.

The transition into kindergarten  is a major milestone for  the child and their family. Many of them will be going to a school where they may or may not have nap time. They will be eating lunch in a cafeteria with many other students from different grade levels, which they are not accustom to.  Here are some things that you can do over the summer to make the transition easier.

-Wash their hands. (Kindergarten kids are very germy and this is a big one.)
-Snap, button, zip, and buckle. ( secret to avoid the buckle part  is to cut off the belt loops. Trust me! I have had several students tighten their belts way to tight while trying to get  it undone. I thought  I would have to cut the belt entirely to get it off.)
-Tie their own shoes. (This is a BIG one. Many kindergarten teachers won't tie shoes, so start practicing now. If they do, they will stop after Winter Break.)
-Put on and take off a jacket.
-Open and close containers in lunchbox , as well as, open and close their lunchbox on their own. (Many times they are eating in the cafeteria and while their are aides in there for assistance, they may be busy.)
-Can use bathroom without assistance.
-Ask for help when needed.
-Listens and follows simple directions.
-Respects personal space.  
-Plays well with others and takes turns.
-Know their first and last name.
-Write their first name.
-Say their ABC's.
-Count  from 0-10. 
-Knows colors.
-Knows shapes.
-Holds pencil appropriately.
-Holds and cuts with scissors properly. (Surprisingly there are many students who can not do this.  This is very important in building their fine motor skills. One simple way to practice scissor skills is  getting a plastic tub  and  place strips of tissue paper or paper inside.  Allow them to cut up the strips into small pieces into the bin. The best scissors to use are the child scissors with the blunt tip. I recommend the Fiskars brand.)
-Cutting on a line. (Simply draw lines across a paper and have your child cut on the line.)
-Play with play doh. (This will also help with fine motor skills and build their muscles. Have them  roll it to make letters. Another fun one is to  tell them a number and have them roll balls of play doh to show that number. When they get it right, they get to smash the play doh balls.)
-Let them play outside. Have them run, jump, skip, and just play. (You will be surprised by how many of my students don't know how to play tag or hide and go seek outside. I know that if I give them an iPad , they will be able to tell me everything  about it and even show me new things. However, they don't know how to play on a playground or with other students at recess.)

Besides they simple things, I have also included a FREEBIE that  you can use for some fun  review  for kindergarten. Click on image to grab it. Enjoy!

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