Going to kindergarten is a big step for kids, which is why preparation is key. These 20 ways to get ready for kindergarten will help kids be more successful during their kindergarten year, whether they’re learning at home or in the classroom.
Getting Ready for Kindergarten
There are so many skills needed in order to get ready for kindergarten! This includes the basics of self-care and fine motor skills, such as tying their shoes and holding their pencil. It also should include the basics in reading and math, including knowing letters and numbers, and even learning sight words. These 20 ways to get ready for kindergarten are sure to help children be successful during their kindergarten year.
There are many things that kindergartners need to do independently. This includes tying their shoes, getting dressed, and even zipping a jacket! Whether in the classroom or at home, knowing how to do these important self-care skills will help kids feel independent and will make life easier for everyone involved.
- Tie Shoes – Kids should learn how to tie their shoes before kindergarten. The only way to master this skill is to practice! These DIY shoe lacing cards are perfect for practicing how to tie shoes.
- Getting Dressed – Kids also need to know how to get themselves dressed in the morning. This should include choosing clothes that are appropriate for the season (pants and long sleeves for cooler, shorts and short sleeves for warmer weather). It should also include everything else needed, such as underclothes and socks.
- Zipping Jackets & Coat – It’s amazing how difficult zipping a jacket or coat can be for a child. Practicing a zipper will help give kids the dexterity and skill needed to zip up a coat. To practice, make this DIY zipper board and let the kids have fun zipping!
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills are very important for kids to develop before kindergarten. Something as simple as holding a pencil can be difficult for kids that haven’t developed their fine motor skills. Here are a few important fine motor skills that all kids should know before starting school.
- Holding a Pencil – Holding a pencil the correct way is important for kids to know. There are many products out there that can help train kids to hold their pencils correctly, such as these pencil grips.
- Tracing Lines – Tracing is also a great fine motor skill that kids need to know. This is definitely a skill needed to learn how to write, draw and more! Practice tracing with these camping tracing strips or this Llama Llama Red Pajama quilt block tracing activity.
- Using Scissors – Kids will use scissors a lot in kindergarten, which is why they need to know how to use them before starting! This cutting spiderwebs activity is a great way to start since it teaches kids how to hold scissors. Then, it’s time to move on to cutting on a line with this farm cutting practice activity.
Reading & Writing
To get ready for kindergarten, there are many reading and writing skills that kids need to know. This includes so many things, from recognizing their own names to knowing letters and their sounds. Not only will these skills help kids get ready for kindergarten, but they’ll also give them a head start so that their kindergarten year is successful.
- ABCs – Knowing their ABCs before kindergarten is a great way to make sure kids are prepared. One great way to get kids started on their ABCs is with these letter recognition cards. This letter recognition grab bag will also make learning ABCs fun and engaging.
- Letter Sounds – In addition to recognizing letters, it’s also important that kids know at least some letter sounds when they start kindergarten. Even knowing just a few letter sounds will give them the head start they need to be successful. Playing alphabet sound Bingo is one way to help kids learn letter sounds. This letter sounds listening game is another!
- Sight Words – Sight words are common words that kids need to know by memory … they are words that can’t be sounded out! Introduce common sight words to pre-kindergarteners by playing apple tree sight words or unicorn sight word game.
- “Reading” Books – Kids are expected to be able to read basic books by the end of kindergarten. In addition to knowing letters, sounds and sight words, pre-reading skills are also important for kids to know. This includes knowing which way to turn the page in a book, using a finger to follow along in a book, and even using the pictures to understand what’s going on in the book.
- Name Recognition – There are many instances that kids will need to recognize their names for kindergarten. Start with this important skill with this twinkle twinkle little star name recognition activity.
- Writing Name – After learning how to recognize their names, kids should also learn how to write their names before kindergarten starts. Simply download this personalized name tracing worksheet for name writing practice!
There are also many math skills that children need to know before starting kindergarten. Knowing their numbers, counting, and recognizing simple shapes are just a few of the skills that are beneficial for pre-kindergartners to know. Once they know the basics, then they’re ready for even more learning in kindergarten!
- Numbers – Children need to know how to recognize numbers. This number recognition play activity will help kids practice numbers, all while helping them develop their gross motor skills! After practicing number recognition, kids can show off their number knowledge with this free farm color by number printable.
- Counting – After learning to recognize numbers, the next step is counting! This bee counting game is a great way for pre-kindergarteners to practice their counting skills. Another great game to play is Frog Lunch, a number recognition and counting game!
- Coins – Kids don’t need to be coin experts going into kindergarten, but it is important for them to recognize the difference between coins such as pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. To practice, grab a handful of change and let kids have fun with this coin sorting mat or this piggy bank coin recognition printable.
- Shapes – Before kindergarten, kids should know basic shapes. Go on a shape scavenger hunt to practice or play some shapes Bingo. The more they practice, the quicker they recognize common shapes!
- Colors – Knowing how to sort items into color groups is important for kids to know. Some Fruit Loop color matching will get kids started on this sorting skill. This color matching activity is another great way to practice colors!
Proper classroom behavior is vital in kindergarten. Kids in kindergarten need to know so many things, such as automatically following a routine, sitting still, and even playing. These behaviors are definitely on the must-know list for kids before they start kindergarten.
- Establish Routines – At home, establish routines with kids. This should include bedtime, mealtime, and anything else that happens regularly during the day. When kids start kindergarten, whether they go to school or are homeschooled, they will need to know how to follow classroom routines in order to have a smooth and successful kindergarten day.
- Sit Still – There are many hands-on and engaging activities that kids will get to do in kindergarten. Unfortunately, part of kindergarten must include sitting still and getting work done. Kids can prepare for this by working quietly at a table or desk on fun activities, such as coloring.
- PLAY – Play is an important part of a kindergartner’s day. Before kindergarten starts, kids should know how to play with their peers, getting along, and following the rules of the game. A great way to practice this is to simply go to the park and let your kids socialize with other kids their age!
These 20 ways to get ready for kindergarten are important for all kids to know. These skills will help children be able to focus on what matters … what they need to learn in kindergarten!