Are they ready to listen?

It’s important for children entering kindergarten to be able to listen to a story and follow along with what’s happening. Kids at this stage of development should be able to match some basic sounds with the corresponding letter. One of the best ways kids learn this skill is to be engaged in story time and have a few letters pointed out to them along the way. Some children love story time and will already have one, or a few, favorite books that they read every week. Kids who aren’t as interested in listening should be encouraged to pick out a book at the library with characters and a storyline they gravitate towards. 

Tactile learning

The sense of touch is essential when preparing for kindergarten. In this digital world, young kids need encouragement to practice cutting with safety scissors, holding and writing with a pencil, and coloring with crayons. Holding a pencil the right way will encourage development of early writing skills essential for grade school, but will also allow kids to express their emotions through drawing and art.

Focus, focus, focus

A child’s ability to focus can vary before kindergarten. During this important year, kids will need to pay attention to one and two-step directions given by the teacher and listen to conversations during structured social activities in the classroom. The ability to focus is also essential because it’s how kids absorb academic information presented by the teacher. Early math and language skills can develop more easily when a child has the ability to pay attention.

Don’t forget the 1,2,3’s

Kids entering kindergarten should be able to count from 1 to 10. They should also be able to count things, such as apples or crayons. Practice counting things (up to 5) on the playground or on a walk. There are 2 birds, there are 3 dogs, etc… Kids should also be able to determine which group of things is more or less than another. For instance, 3 oranges is more than 2 oranges. Additionally, point out different shapes to kids of this age. They should be able to tell the difference between a circle, square, and triangle, for instance.

The importance of sharing

Although not an academic skill, the ability to share will help kids with their academic learning indirectly. Kids can learn positive skills from one another, work together in groups, and inspire each other’s creativity, but only if they get along. Practice sharing at home on a regular basis. Sharing can mean using the same toys at the same time, or taking turns with crayons when there is only one of the same color. 

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