Prep for the Pint-Sized Rigors of Kindergarten

These 12 tips will help get your child ready for this new stage of life.

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Get Him on the Road to Lifelong Learning

Familiarize your child with these developmental skills before entering kindergarten! If he has not mastered each of these areas before entering kindergarten, it is okay. Each child develops at his own unique pace and acquires various skills at different times. You may find that your child has grown in some of these areas, and is still developing in others. Here is a list of developmental indicators - in no particular order - to foster in your child.

1. Amp Up Your Child's Reading Readiness

Looks at pictures and tells a story. Knows alphabet and some simple words. Attempts to print first name, and can identify own name in writing. Understands words are read from left to right. Remembers pictures from a printed page. Pretends to read.

2. Cultivate His Listening and Sequencing Skills

Understands and follows simple two step directions. Pays attention. Recognizes common sounds. Repeats a sequence of numbers heard. Retells a simple story in sequence. Repeats a 6 to 8 word sentence.

3. Encourage Her to Express Herself

Speaks in complete sentences most of the time. Repeats a familiar song, nursery rhyme, or poem. Communicates needs with words, pictures, or signals.

4. Promote Patterning Skills

Matches 2 like pictures in a set of 5 cards. Classifies objects by physical features: shape, color, and size. Recognizes copies or repeating patterns. Organizes alike objects into groups. Can complete a 4 piece puzzle.

5. Teach Your Child Colors and Shapes

Can identify or point out primary colors. Recognizes simple shapes, like triangles, squares, circles, squares and rectangles.

6. Familiarize Your Child With the Concept of Time

Understands day and night. Knows age and birthday. Familiar with months and days of the week.

7. Help Him Learn Basic Math Skills

Counts to 10. Can count objects in a small group. Can sequence numerals in order from 1 to 5. Can match a numeral (0 - 5) with a cluster with that number of objects. Understands the concepts 'more' and 'less.'

8. Develop Your Child's Emotional Maturity

Can identify age and gender. Cares for self by washing hands, using bathroom, and dressing self. Appears comfortable separating from parent. Maintain self-control. Puts toys away.

9. Develop Her Social Skills

Talks easily. Verbally expresses needs and interests. Recognizes authority. Plays and shares with others. Helps with household chores. Joins in family conversation. Identifies peers and family members by name.

10. Foster His Fine Motor Skills

Can button and zip clothes. Cuts and draws simple shapes. Builds with blocks. Can cut and paste pictures onto paper. Claps hands. Draws or colors beyond a simple scribble. Grips pencil or crayon with control. Draws simple shapes.

11. Grow Her Gross Motor Skills

Can run, jump, hop, and walk a straight line. Catches and bounces a ball. Alternates feet walking downstairs. Can stand on one foot for about 10 seconds.

12. Build Up Your Child's Basic Knowledge

Recites first and last name. Knows parents or other family members' first and last name. Knows home address and telephone number. Identifies body parts.

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