How to prepare your child to be kindergarten ready

New environment, new friends, and full day of fun. There’s lot to look forward for your little ones at kindergarten but the transition from home to school environment can sometimes be daunting- for both kids and parents.

 Here, we share some tips that can help your child put their best foot forward when joining kindergarten.

  • Independence is the key: Is your child ready to communicate their needs with teacher and peers? To develop growing sense of independence, take a step back and help your child spend some time with relative or close friends. This will help them to communicate their needs with other adults and gives you an opportunity to see how they react with other when you are not around.
  • Set up play dates: Do your child share appropriately or can play cooperatively? It’s important to develop and maintain appropriate social skills to have an enriching experience at school. Setting up play dates with other children who will attend the same school can help your child establish early friendships and reduce some of the anxiety.
  • Secure attachment: Knowing you are there for your child when I need can develop confidence in exploring the world around them. Show and tell your child that you are delighted to see her each time you pick her up from school or child care, when she wakes up in the morning, or at every other opportunity. The key ingredient to develop a secure attachment is to respond to intervene, comfort, react and respond to your child when in distress.
  • Let your child help: Children love to help! When you allow your child to help, you foster their confidence and give them an opportunity to learn something new. For example, when making scrambled eggs, consider pouring milk into a small cup or pitcher and asking your child to pour it into the bowl. Likewise, collect the eggshells in a small bowl and ask your child to help dump them in the garbage.
  • Give your child chores: Chores are important steppingstones for building up to larger tasks. A lot of research supports chores for children as a way of building a sense of responsibility and self-reliance, developing executive functions, teaching teamwork and nurturing empathy. Simple tasks like picking up toys or putting laundry in the basket allow your child to have reasonable responsibility and help with maintaining structure throughout the day.
  • Let your child solve problems: Be sure to allow your child to try things that are hard and to solve (small) problems on their own. Presenting your child with tasks that are a little bit challenging, but still within the realm of what they can do with some support, helps them learn to deal with frustration, solve problem, and stick out challenging situations. Be sure to praise the effort rather than the outcome or skill: “I’m so proud of you for sticking with that even when it got hard,” rather than, “You’re so good at tying your shoes!”
  • Encourage projects: Projects, which can include anything from coloring to building to puzzles to crafts, provide opportunities for children to focus their attention on a contained activity for a period of time. Commenting on and complimenting your child’s work gives them a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem, and praising your child’s effort helps with the development of grit.
  • Set predictable routines: Establishing a consistent routine is important for nurturing independence. When children can anticipate their day, they are better equipped to take on responsibilities. If you let your child do some of the prep work, such as putting the toothpaste on their toothbrush, or finding their coat and shoes, they will increasingly take on more of these steps on their own. And you are communicating to them that you have faith in their ability to do these steps without you, but also that you are there to help if they need it.

Aside from pyscho-social abilities, communication skills are also important for the child to participate, learn and have fun at kindergarten.

By the age of 4, your child should be able to:

  • Follow 3 step instructions. For example, “get the boots, put them on and open the door.”
  • Understand sound-letter associations, numbers, shapes, and how objects are related to each other.
  • Understand and remember details of a story and anticipate what will happen next in a story.
  • Start a conversation and keep it going on the same topic of three turns.
  • Communicate emotions like “happy, sad, angry.”
  • Answer “who?”, “How?”, “how many?” questions
  • Adults outside the family should be able to understand more than half of the conversation.
  • Able to say the following sounds correctly in words: k, y, f, g, t, d
  • Errors in the following sounds are normal at this age: l, sh, ch, v, j, r, th.

If your child need support in any of the areas, contact TalkingCow speech therapy at 613-556-1121.