(en español)

Twelve Steps to Get Ready For Kindergarten

  1. Teach Your child to recognize his/her name
  2. Teach your child to identify the 8 basic colors
  3. Teach your child to count to 100
  4. Practice listening and following directions-ask once and don’t repeat
  5. Let your child cut with scissors, use a pencil, and color with crayons
  6. Give others opportunities for your child to play cooperatively with others
  7. Encourage your child to speak in full sentences
  8. Read books to your child daily
  9. Teach them to tie, zip, button, and snap
  10. Teach your child to say his first and last name
  11. Help your child show independence in such ways as washing, dressing, and bathroom skills
  12. Help your child understand such concepts as in/out, up/down, big/little, same/different, left/right and before/after

You are your child’s first and best teacher!

Ladies Home Journal asked teachers, principals and child-development experts around the country how parents can help preschoolers pick up skills they’ll need. Here are some suggestions….

Take time to talk with each child.
Set aside 15 minutes of uninterrupted time each day to share experiences, jokes or riddles. This helps the child to build both vocabulary and conversational skills. 

Widen the child’s horizons.
Take children on daily errands and talk about what they see along the way. This helps the child become familiar with the neighborhood. Make plans to go to the museum, circus or zoo- all great places to learn. 

Read, read, read.
Daily reading helps children establish a connection with the printed word. To develop imagination, encourage children to create a new ending to a story.  
Play Counting Games
Ask children to count steps, keys or the number of green items in a room instead of asking them to memorize number from 1 to 10. Use daily tasks to reinforce abstract concepts: Let children match clean socks or play with measuring cups. This helps them become familiar with sizes, shapes and quantities.

Learn through play.
Choose games like Candy land to build a child’s cognitive skills. Strings beads, catching balls and playing with clay are great ways to help develop writing muscles and eye-hand coordination in young children. 
Encourage independence and  responsibility:
Be patient.  Wait for preschoolers to accomplish small tasks.  Kids who are given responsibility, praise and consistent discipline usually develop the positive self-image kindergarten teachers like to see.