Posted by: ad65shorty | February 17, 2011

More skills needed for Kindergarten

This is a summary of info we’d give our parents during Kindergarten registration to help them give their child a good foundation for Kindergarten. I like that it has real-world application rather than just worksheets or flashcards.

Many habits begun in kindergarten continue through high school so it is importance to recognize the significance of this first step. Here are some of the things you can do with your child to give him/her a strong foundation for kindergarten.

1. Color recognition and the likes: It is important for children to recognize attributes such as color, shape and size. This helps them develop math skills including sorting, classifying and patterning. Help your child notice attributes. Playing I Spy with your child is a great way to reinforce this.

2. Counting: Being able to count orally develops number sequence. Being able to count objects requires a child to match the word “one” to a concept “one block.” Help your child count plates when setting the table, trucks as you travel down the road, bites it takes to eat an apple, etc. There are many things to count!

3. Vocabulary: Help your child develop a large vocabulary. A word must in a child’s oral vocabulary before he/she can recognize it in print. The best ways to develop vocabulary are reading books (discuss the meanings of new words) and having conversations with your child beyond daily instructions, such as “Time for bed. Brush your teeth. Where are your shoes?” Ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer. Encourage your child to talk about feelings or events. (And I would add, take them places that will expose them to new vocabulary, such as the zoo or aquarium.)

4. Phonemic Awareness: This fancy word simply means that a child is able to hear individual words that make up sentences (“I’m going to get a bike” rather than “I’m gonna get a bike”). This is best developed as children hear the language used in books. A child must be able to hear the parts of a word (ta – ble) or individual sounds in a word (d – o – g). Play the Robot Game: Say a broken word into syllables (far – mer) or individual sounds (p – i – g) and have your child tell the word you are saying. Then switch roles. Being able to hear when words rhyme is also a big part of phonemic awareness. Read books and recite nursery rhymes often. Leave out the rhyming words and let your child finish the rhyme. (As a side note, many teachers don’t have time to teach nursery rhymes anymore so it’s important that children get that exposure at home.)

4. Alphabet Recognition: It is NOT necessary for your child to come to kindergarten knowing all the letters of the alphabet! As you read books and develop a strong foundation for reading, your child will naturally begin to notice print. Read alphabet books. Answer questions they may have. Play games that help your child notice the attributes of letters (I’ll be sharing a whole bunch later this week!). And most importantly… READ, READ, READ!!!

5. Name Writing: Please teach your child to write his/her name with a capital letter ONLY at the beginning. Otherwise teachers spend a lot of time trying to reverse that, and it’s frustrating for children. Help your child form the letters correctly. And help your child learn to hold the pencil correctly.

6. Fine Motor Skills: Cutting with scissors, drawing pictures, and playing with playdough or Legos all develop the small muscles in your child’s fingers. Help your child practice cutting with scissors. Find old magazines and cut out pictures to make a food collage or toy collage. (This is a skill many boys need help with)

These ideas are more academically based. For more ideas on other areas, go here.



  1. Amen, sister!!! WHY, oh WHY do parents teach their children to write their names in block capital letters??? It used to drive me crazy, having to reteach the writing of the name when it is so person who the child’s self-perception!

    • I’m not sure, Sarah. But I think people think the capital letters are easier for their children to write than the curvy lowercase ones. What do you think?

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