What to do this summer to prepare your Kindergartener for school

As we move into summer you may be wondering what kindergarten will be like for your child and how to prepare him or her. Looking at pictures from last fall makes me think back to when our kindergartners first started. Their parents, being good partners with the School, followed through on our advice and these little ones started the year strong.

Today their skills are noticeably improved, they can tell you an entire story that makes sense, and even their jokes are starting to get funny.

Here are some fun things to do with your rising kindergartner so he or she will be ready for school in the fall.

For Social/Emotional Development

  • Play board games to practice taking turns; help develop patience by having your child wait for turns or for your attention
  • Set up several play dates with friends
  • Help your child learn and practice cleaning up after play

For Language Development

  • Verbally give your child specific one-step and two-step directions and help him or her follow through
  • Read to your child for a combined total of at least 20 minutes each day, include nursery rhymes
  • After reading, ask your child what happened in the beginning, middle, and end of the story
  • Try out the sounds each letter makes through play and games

For Cognitive Development

  • Chat with your child; ask him or her “why” questions and help think through the answers
  • Have your child help you sort items according to color, size, and shape (laundry, blocks, toys)
  • Teach your child to make various patterns ( red, blue, red, blue)
  • Practice counting aloud to 20 in the car; count objects in your home
  • Teach your child to recognize some numbers and letters
  • Talk about concepts like up/down, over/under, big/little, before/after

For Physical Development – Gross and Fine Motor

  • Give your child plenty of opportunities for outdoor play
  • Play catch, practice skipping, explore the neighborhood together
  • Stacks blocks, help with child-safe scissors, use play dough
  • Teach your child to write his or her name

For Creativity

  • Always encourage pretend play
  • Use a variety of materials to let your child paint, draw, cut and explore

Learn more about St. Paul’s by visiting www.stpaulsschool.org.

Martha Donovan

Martha Donovan

Mrs. Donovan is the Associate Director of Lower School Admissions at St. Paul’s. She previously spent ten years in Middle and Upper School Admissions at the Key School in Annapolis, where her three children graduated. Since coming to St. Paul’s, she and her husband have moved to Baltimore and love it. Mrs. Donovan also has experience as a national news editor with NBC Radio and Mutual News, and spent a year as a Press Secretary on Capitol Hill. You will often find her in the Kindergarten classrooms or on the early carpool line, anywhere she can see the kids in action. She can be reached at mdonovan@stpaulsschool.org

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