Preschoolers

Tips for Kindergarten Readiness During the Global Pandemic

With preschools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, many children will start kindergarten this fall without fully reaping the benefit of that early school experience. Parents who are concerned that children will be “behind” can rest assured that while being at home is different, learning happens everywhere! In fact, at this age, parents are children’s most influential teachers and play is the medium in which they learn. So relax and know that the play and exploration they are doing at home will prepare them for kindergarten. Take additional comfort in the fact that it is well within your power to provide them age-appropriate support in a few areas:

DEVELOPING CONFIDENCE AND INDEPENDENCE

How a child feels about themselves has a positive impact on how they transition to new activities, their willingness to take thoughtful risks, their capacity to separate from their parents, and their ability to cooperate and share with others.

What can you do?

-Give them opportunities to work through challenges before you offer to help. (Of course, it is great to help your child, but let them try things on their own as well. Through letting them try, youcommunicate your confidence in their skills and through trying, they gain a sense of their own competence)

-Make time each day when there are tasks or activities that they work on without you (playing in their room, building with legos, being outside).

-Work with them on dressing themselves, using the bathroom independently, knowing how to pack and carry their backpack or school bag.

-Encourage them to ask for what they need at home so they have skills to self-advocate at school.

READING

Reading to your child daily—even for brief periods of time—is one of the best ways to lay the foundation for their developing literacy skills. Your child does NOT need to enter kindergarten able to read! Through reading with you, though, they will learn how to care for books, hold them, turn the pages and will generally understand that stories in books are told through words and pictures.

What can you do?

-Read to them.

-Let them “read” to you. Even if they make up the story, they are still learning about reading, sequence of stories and developing memory skills.

-Provide a variety of books (picture, early readers, simple chapter books, non-fiction).

-Sing songs and sing/read nursery rhymes (it helps children experience the patterns of reading).-Let them see you reading.

MATH

Young children learn most math skills through everyday interactions. By kindergarten, they often have number sense (5 is a group of 5 things), can identify numerals 1-10 and have already begun to do simple addition and subtraction (if I have 2 toys and I share 1, I have 1 left) even before they are learning any formal operations.

What can you do?

-Count everything! (e.g. Ask them to set the table and get 4 plates, 4 napkins and 4 forks)

-Count up to 20 when you are playing games or doing anything (they don’t need to be able to doit perfectly, but they will understand that there is a sequence).

-Cook (measurement, estimating, problem-solving).


-Read books with numbers in them.


-Play games involving math like hopscotch, bouncing balls etc.-Use words like more/less, bigger/ littler, patterns.

PRE-ACADEMIC SKILLS

The following are examples of skills and materials your child will use in school. With this “bonus”category, the key is to follow your child’s lead. Introduce these IF and WHEN your preschooler demonstrates interest in them. If they don’t, don’t worry about it!

What can you do?

-Help familiarize them with colors and shapes through games, books, puzzles or observation of your surroundings.

-Support them in learning to write their first name. It does not need to be perfect! At first lines will be shaky, “E”s will have lots of horizontal lines and letters will be backwards. This is normal.

-Praise their effort, not the product.

-Give them opportunities to use art supplies like crayons, glue sticks and safety scissors.

-Practice waiting for their turn. Some great opportunities for this include: playing cooperative board games, taking turns while playing outside (hitting a t-ball, running an obstacle course),cooking (waiting to pour in a cup of flour) or speaking at the dinner table.

Talk to a parenting expert today

Remember that what each child and family needs is different. Trustle provides parent coaching and support to address a range of concerns. Tailored, personalized advice is available by booking a call with one of our coaches.

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