Foothill Christian School Blog

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Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten

Since growth is uneven, some children may excel in some pathways to learning while struggling in others. A common question that parents ask is “what can I do to get my child ready for kindergarten?” A child cannot be forced to learn but they can be provided with an environment that promotes learning and exploration. Quality preschool programs provide an optimal learning environment that is essential for the growth and development of young children.

Hands-on activities are crucial to the learning of a young child. Workbooks and coloring pages alone cannot provide the type of learning that is essential to readiness. Below is a list of fun and interactive activities to do with your preschool aged child that will better prepare them for kindergarten.

GROSS MOTOR: the awareness of large muscle activity.
 -Walk, run, march, dance to rhythm, gallop, skip
-Roll at different speeds
-Roll and toss a ball
-Walk on tip toes
-Walk backwards
FINE MOTOR: the awareness of the small muscles of the body.
-Play with clay and playdoh
-Cut straight and circular lines
-String beads
-Practice lacing, snapping, and buttoning
-Build with Legos, small blocks, Tinker toys, and Lincoln logs
-Finger paint
-Turn pages of a book one at a time

VISUAL DISCRIMINATION: the ability to visually discriminate the forms and symbols in one’s environment.
-Practice matching objects
-Sort by size and color
-Find the object that is different
-Match letters and numbers that are the same
-Use shapes to make pictures
-Play “Go Fish”

VISUAL MEMORY: The ability to recall accurately prior visual experiences.
-Play a memory game with pictures
-Show a picture and then ask child to name at least 3 things they saw in the picture
-Have child close eyes and describe something familiar i.e. clothes he wears or his room
-Arrange items in a particular order. Mix them up and have child put the items back in order

AUDITORY DISCRIMINATION: the ability to receive and differentiate auditory stimuli.
-Always verbalize experiences i.e. talk about what you are seeing
-Hum music
-Say a short nursery rhyme and have child repeat it
-Play a game where you give the child 2-step directions
-Play “where’s that sound?”
-Have child close their eyes. Ring a bell and have them turn toward the sound
-Clap simple rhythm patterns and have child repeat

AUDITORY MEMORY: the ability to retain and recall auditory information.
-Have child explain activities that happened yesterday
-Have child name as many animals, colors, or foods as they can remember
-Give 2-step directions such as “clap your hands and sit down”
-Have child repeat simple number and letter sequences
-Play restaurant with child and have them remember ”food orders”
-Pick a special word from a story and have child raise his hand each time the word is read
-Have child draw a picture of the story they just heard

RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE: the ability to understand words in accord with chronological age.
-Play “I spy”
-Have child place an object “next to” “on” “behind” “in front of” “between” “under”
-Have child point and name various parts of their body

EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE: the ability to express oneself verbally.
-Play telephone
-Play with a microphone
-Show the child an object and have him describe it
-Have child draw a picture and dictate what they have made
-Have child “read” a story book by telling about the pictures
-Have child make their own “book”

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL: the ability to relate meaningfully to others and be accepted in both one-to-one and group situations. 
-Listen and respond to everything the child “tells” you
-Include the child in decision making
-Give reasonable tasks around the house that requires some responsibility
-Encourage social interaction with other children
-Set reasonable limits for his behavior

As you can see, children learn through interactions and hands-on experiences. Read to your child everyday. Play games and have fun!

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