How to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten
If you are wondering when the right time is to prepare your child for kindergarten, it is typically when he or she is around four years old. Early preparation does not necessarily mean that your child should already have kindergarten abilities while he or she is still in preschool. Instead, it means that this is an important time to ensure your child is strong in the age-appropriate skills.
Age-Appropriate Skills for Four-Year-Olds
Based on what kindergarten programs in Australia offer, these skills usually include the child:
- Recognizing letters in their name
- Retelling a simple story
- Following basic instructions
- Holding a pencil properly
- Tracing numbers
- Tracing letters
- Recognizing the title of a book
- Listening to stories in groups of children
- Recognizing sounds that rhyme
- Being able to take turns with others
Another great tip for kindergarten preparation is to include a focus on the child’s social life. Those children who feel comfortable in groups, like children who have already been at preschool, often do well in kindergarten. But, other than preschool, you can take you child to parties, busy playgrounds, and library story hours to help him or her adjust to group activities.
Another important prep tool is self-awareness. You can increase your child’s self-awareness by helping him or her memorize important points of information, such as:
- Phone number
Some children tend to learn this type of information easier when you turn it into a rhyme or song.
Also, find fun ways to help your child practice numbers, like having your child count the number of windows in a location or the number of tins in your grocery cupboard. To help your child learn letters, assign him or her a specific letter and ask your child to think of something in the room that starts with that letter. You can practice colours by having your child sort toys by colour and also naming the toys.
Finally, a few more prep tips for kindergarten include:
- Read with your child every day.
- Encourage him or her to practice getting dressed.
- Work with him or her on paying attention and impulse control.
- Praise and encourage curiosity.
- Respond to your child’s questions.
- Collect empty food containers and make fund things out of them.
- Play guessing games.
- Go to different places and talk about what you see and hear.
Also, try to discuss what kindergarten will be like with your little boy or girl. Talk about things like routine and schedules, friends, how he or she will get to and from kindergarten, the route, and more. If you are able to, take your child to play at the school’s playground and have a tour of the facilities.