Sending your children to their first official year of kindergarten can be frightening, intimidating and depressing. One of the main problems today is many children are showing up to their first day of kindergarten and they aren’t at the accurate education level to move right along with the class’s curriculum. With Pre-K programs skyrocketing in price, many of the requirements for kindergarten must be taught at home. However, many parents have no idea what their child is supposed to know before they drop them off on their first day. These tips should give you frugal ways to help prepare your child for school, while still keeping your playtime fun.
Tracing can be one of the best ways to have fun while preparing your child to go to school. To begin with, this activity is an easy way to start your child out on writing letters, numbers and their name, which are all required for kindergarten. You can let your child trace on paper to help them get the motion of the pencil or crayon, which is another requirement for school. Of course, to add some fun to the task, let them trace away in sand, shaving cream and anything else fun you can think of. You may even consider bringing out the paint and brushes to help out. This activity also teaches kids to sit down and concentrate, which is another must when it comes to school.
2. Drawing Crafts
Whenever you can, you should pull out the pencils and crayons to help your child get the hang of using these writing utensils. The more comfortable your child is with the proper use of these utensils, the easier it will be for them to jump into their school work. You can do all sorts of things to help them with this. For instance, you might ask them to draw a variety of their favorite things. You can also have them write letters, numbers and their name in bubble letters and so on. Another option is to have them go over coloring sheets. Spending at least 30 minutes a day on this type of craft helps build up motor skills while teaching your child to sit down and work on an assignment.
Puzzles can be one of the most efficient ways to help your little one learn early logic skills. Puzzles come in all shapes and sizes too, which can allow you to customize your puzzle time towards your child’s needs. The best thing about puzzles is they not only work to help with logic, but they can teach the alphabet, numbers, animals and so much more. There are even puzzles that make noise for kids that love audio interaction. Having your child sit down to work on a puzzle also helps with their patience skills. This can really come in handy in school and will make it easier for your child to work through harder tasks.
4. Flash Cards
One of the cheapest ways to teach children new things is to use flash cards. These are particulary great for children getting ready to go to kindergarten. Flash cards can be played during meals, before bedtime or even while you’re waiting for an appointment or in the car. You can make flashcards to suit your child’s needs too. The alphabet and numbers are always a wise choice, but you can also add in cards for shapes, colors, animals, transportation vehicles, clothes and so much more. You can even begin to help your child work on sight words, so they will be reading before you know it. Flash cards make it easy to create a reward system too, so your child will actually want to play it. You can even use your flash cards as a memory game, which will help your children learn even more.
It is important that your child knows how to use scissors and glue, so crafting is one of the best ways to prepare them for this requirement. Luckily, crafts won’t break the bank, so you can do a lot of them without having to worry about finances. One great option for this is to make paper bag puppets. Kids will love cutting, gluing and coloring their puppet. When it’s complete, they can make up stories to help improve on their creativity and imagination. You might also consider crafts that utilize motor functions too. For instance, you can have children do some work with beads. Kids will love showing off what they made and may even love to give them as gifts to loved ones. There are so many craft options available that you should be booked full throughout the summer.
6. Relay Games
Helping your child get up and burn some energy is always a great way to help with the learning process. There’s a long list of athletic relays that can help your child learn motor functions, keep fit and have fun. However, there are many other relay games you can let your child play. For instance, you can assign them various tasks around the house to see how fast they can do them. One example would be to have them collect a pencil, then a paper, write their name, tie their shoe and so on. This will help them get in the mindset of listening to what their teacher has to say while allowing them to work on tasks they will commonly do in school. Another great way to add to this to help your child learn how to stand in line quickly, which is another essential for school.
7. Play Dates
Encouraging your child to spend time with other children is another great way to help them prepare for school. Knowing how to socialize, share and be kind to others is a skill that is best learned before your child is placed in a setting with a lot of other children. As your child grows more comfortable with other children, you may try to leave them with a supervising adult for some time and offer the same favor to other parents. This will help children get used to being without their parents for a longer period of time, which can make the transition to kindergarten a lot easier. With separation anxiety gone, your child will be able to learn without distraction.
8. Reward Manners
Helping your child develop good manners is one of the best things you can do for your family, your child, their peers and teachers. Manners are very important in school and will help your child make friends easier while being more successful in their school work. In order to encourage good manners, you might want to come up with a reward system. This will show children that manners are rewarded, so it becomes second nature to them. You should especially concentrate on pleases and thank yous, as well as overall courteous behavior.
A lot of people are hesitant to give younger children chores to do around the house. However, chores can be very rewarding for young children and their parents. These chores can even make sure your child is ready to take on the tasks that school will bring to the table. This doesn’t mean your child should have a long list of chores, nor should they have some of the harder chores in the household. There are many items they can accomplish though. For instance, picking up their toys is one of the most important things you can teach your child. You can also assign them simple tasks like feeding and watering the pets, collecting dirty dishes from around the house, cleaning flat surfaces and so on. You can actually find lists from professionals that will help you choose your child’s chores based on their age group.
Hands down, reading to your children is one of the best things that you can do for them. This is not just valuable bonding time that helps your child ease into their sleep routine. Reading actually helps a child build up a strong vocabulary from a very early age. This helps with their language skills and allows them to progress in other aspects of school too. On top of that, reading helps your child develop a love for books which will help them fall in love with learning. Last but not least, reading with your child can also help them recognize sight words faster. This might even encourage your child to feel confident enough to read before they even enter school.
Helping your child prepare for kindergarten can be bittersweet, but it’s absolutely necessary for their success. These simple tips should help you prepare your child without having to invest lots of money in programs and activities for your child. Before you know it, your child will expand their confidence while showing you just how smart they are.