Preparing your child for kindergarten doesn’t have to be overwhelming

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OKLAHOMA -- Preparing you child for kindergarten is a time full of a plethora of emotions. In a time when you feel like your world is spinning out of control, it's important to take a step back and do the little things that will give your child a smooth transition into elementary school.

Social and emotional development is extremely important at a young age. There are several things you can do to ensure that your child is on track for their age group.

  • Encourage your child to persist in tasks when encountering a problem by giving him tasks slightly above his current ability level. When your child cannot find a solution on his own, encourage him to calmly ask for help.
  • Play board games to practice taking turns.
  • Set up several play dates with friends of various ages.
  • Allow your child to stay with other trusted adults for a few hours at a time prior to kindergarten (especially if she has rarely been in the care of someone other than mom and dad)
  • Tell your child you expect her to clean up after play.

Simply reading to your child each day can prove to be a crucial part of a child's language development. Here are some simple tips that could make a world of a difference in your child's reading, writing, and speaking skills.

  • Verbally give your child specific one-step and two-step directions and encourage him to follow through.
  • Read to your child for a combined total of at least 20 minutes each day.
  • While reading, point out how to hold a book (right-side up with the spine on the left) and the orientation in which we read the words and look at the pictures (left to right).
  • After reading, ask your child what happened in the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
  • Give your child plenty of opportunities to draw (without coloring books). Ask her to draw the things she sees around her.
  • Teach your child the uppercase and lowercase letters and, most importantly, the sounds each letter makes.

Also pick up some fun ways to improve your child's cognitive development.

  • Have your child help you sort items according to color, size, and shape (laundry, blocks, silverware, toys, and other household items work well).
  • Teach your child to make various patterns (red, blue, red, blue). Garage sale dot stickers or craft pom-poms are great for this purpose.
  • Practice counting aloud to 20 while driving in the car.

Remember, kindergarten is only as scary as you make it. With these fun and simple tips, you and you child will be more than ready for the transition to elementary school!

 

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