Tips for Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten

Most importantly, Talk with your child; Listen to your child; Read with your child; and Respond to your child’s natural curiosity.

There are also some basic skills that you can help your child begin to develop at home.

Independent self-help skills

  • Use the bathroom without assistance.
  • Work buttons and zippers on clothes.
  • Tie shoes.
  • Put on and take off outer clothing without assistance.
  • Develop healthy habits, such as regular hand washing and covering the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.

Personal information

  • Know their full name, address and phone number.
  • Recognize their name in print.
  • Know the names of family members.
  • Know what number to call in emergency – 911.
  • Know how they will get to and from school.

Social and Emotional Development

Children need to develop socially and emotionally to be successful in the world. To help make your child’s transition to kindergarten successful, continue providing opportunities for your child to be part of a peer group.

Plan activities for your child to interact with others

  • Sharing
  • Taking turns
  • Listening, including focusing on the speaker
  • Making eye contact
  • Following two- and three-step directions
  • Learning how to work out problems with others, and knowing when to ask an adult for help
  • Showing respect for others
  • Using appropriate language

Help your child develop independence

  • Expressing needs verbally
  • Learning to trust other adults by spending time without parents/guardians
  • Following simple directions
  • Accepting responsibility (doing jobs at school and at home)
  • Taking care of belongings independently

Speech and Language Development

In order for children to communicate effectively, they must have many experiences. It is important to listen and talk with your child. Here are some other ways you can foster your child’s speech and language development.

Take time to read with your child every day. In addition to reading fictional children’s books, expose your child to the following types of literature:

  • nursery rhymes/rhyming books,
  • fairy tales/poems and
  • nonfiction/informational books.

Enhance your reading time.

  • Before starting a book, look at the pictures in the book and ask your child to predict what will happen.
  • While reading the book, pause to ask questions and discuss what’s happening in the book.
  • After reading or listening to a story, retell events from the story.
  • Ask your child to make connections from the book to personal experiences.
  • Explain any new words you encounter.


  • Model appropriate language and answer questions appropriately.
  • Use positional words when giving directions (for example above, below, under, next to).
  • Ask your child about specific activities throughout the day.
  • Help your child become aware of appropriate voice volume (inside vs. outside voice).

Playing Games

  • Play games with your child (Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Go Fish, Memory, etc.).
  • Play outdoors with your child.

Take your child to places, such as libraries, zoos, museums, parks and live performances.


Home Portfolio

Throughout your child’s school years, you may want to create a portfolio. Portfolios are collections of your children’s work, that helps you see how they grow as learners. You may want to include some of the following:

  • Drawings and paintings;
  • A copy of writing your child has done or a story your child has dictated to you;
  • A photograph of something your child created; and
  • A list of your child’s favorite stories.


Partnerships with Families

As you are your child’s first teacher, we value your partnership. The best advice we can give you is to be active in knowing your child and prepare to have fun with your child.

You can encourage learning by being involved.

  • Take part in class activities.
  • Read to your child.
  • Visit a library or book store.
  • Communicate with teachers.
  • Check your child’s backpack and folders every day.
  • Attend PTA meetings and school events.

You can encourage learning by helping your children at home.

  • Help choose clothes based on the weather.
  • Make sure they get enough sleep each night.
  • Wake them early enough to make it to school on time.
  • Feed them a well-balanced breakfast before school.