Do you have a child heading off to Kindergarten this fall? Life as MOM contributor Jessie Leigh has some fantastic and fun tips for encouraging kindergarten readiness this summer.
This fall, I will send my third child off to kindergarten. This is not my first time down this road, obviously, but I still learn new things each and every time. One thing that has been the same each time, however, is that, all around, parents start fretting about whether or not their children are “ready” for kindergarten.
Some parents feel strongly that a couple years of preschool are the ticket for kindergarten readiness. Others lean heavily on workbooks, computer programs, or apps to give their children an edge. Others just let their children explore and figure it’ll all work out in the end.
To be honest, I fall mostly in that last group, but I also have the kind of personality that likes to be structured and proactive, so I understand the mindset of the other groups, too.
If you’d like some activities to do with your up-and-coming kindergartener over the summer, I have some fun suggestions. Culled from my own experience and from speaking to many, many elementary teachers, here are thirty ideas for ways to help prepare your child for the school year, while still letting her enjoy the summer:
- Go on a listening walk with your child. What does he hear?
- Ask your child to find five rocks. Have her touch each one as she counts them. How do they feel? Are they different colors? Which one’s biggest?
- Show your child how to draw a star. Let him practice drawing as many as possible.
- Find a book about summer and read it to your child. Ask questions such as “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, and “how.”
- Count the number of windows in your home together.
- Let your child help wash the car.
- Help your child think of words that rhyme with cat, dog, or dad.
- Challenge your child to hop on one foot three times. Alternate feet.
- Encourage your child to write on the sidewalk or driveway with chalk.
- Have your child count all the buttons on her clothes.
- Create something with play-doh.
- Sing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” with your child.
- Go on a color hunt– find objects that are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
- Ask your child to act out a nursery rhyme after reading it together from a book.
- Take your child to the public library and let him choose a book. Talk about where the front of the book is, where the title is, and where to find the author’s name.
- Let your child cut up old magazines and make collages.
- Have your child draw a picture of something she likes to do in the summertime. Encourage her to describe/explain it.
- See if your child can find an insect. Examine it closely together. What do you see?
- Draw three different shapes on a paper and ask your child to cut them out.
- Have a “puzzle day.” Encourage your child to work to complete a puzzle independently.
- Challenge your child to count how many steps it takes to walk across the living room or yard.
- Have your child tell you a story. As they tell it, write it down, then read it to them after.
- Have your child put ice cubes in the hot sun. What happens?
- Ask your child to help you write the grocery list. Let him draw pictures or help write some letters. Describe the items you’re adding. What color are they? Are they sweet? Is it crunchy? Does it feel cold?
- Go on a nature hike together.
- Relax in the shade with your child and read a book together. Help him to retell the story when you finish.
- Cut up several drinking straws and let your child string them.
- Play hopscotch together.
- Ask your child to pretend to be a caterpillar. See if she can tell you four foods she would eat.
- Have your child draw a picture of something he would like to do in kindergarten. Talk about all the fun opportunities he will have in the upcoming year!
What are some of your favorite ways to practice kindergarten readiness in a fun way with your child?
– A mother of three, including a 24 week preemie, JessieLeigh is a determined advocate for even the tiniest of babies. She can be found celebrating life’s (sometimes unexpected) miracles and blessings at Parenting Miracles.
You can read all of Jessie Leigh’s posts for Life as MOM here.