For Parents

Getting ready for kindergarten

Getting kids ready to read and write starts at home before kindergarten. There are so many fun, easy activities you can do every day with your 4-year-old to get him ready to read and write! Here are a few ideas:

Reading: Reading books together helps your preschooler learn new words and understand how books work. Check out lots of picture books from your library about things that your child likes, and read favorite books over and over. Make reading fun for your child—read in funny voices, make animal noises, point out the pictures, and get him involved in the story!

Writing: Have crayons, pencils and paper in your house for your child to use any time. Ask her to help you write and draw notes. When 4-year-olds scribble and draw, they’re building the muscles in their hands they’ll need when they learn to write in kindergarten.

Singing: Sing, clap and dance to your child’s favorite songs. When you sing, the words are broken into smaller parts and are easier for kids to hear and remember. Changing the words or adding your child’s name to favorite songs adds to the fun. Check out CDs at your library to find fun new children’s music!

Talking: Ask your child about her day. Have her tell you the best, the hardest and funniest part of her day. Share your day with your child as well. When you talk with your child often, she learns new words and learns about the world around her. She also gets to practice speaking and having a conversation.

Playing: Play pretend games with puppets or any objects. Empty boxes can become cars or animals. A ruler can turn into a magic wand. A bowl on top of someone’s head is a hat. Play helps kids learn to tell and retell and stories. It also helps them understand how people relate to each other. Kids also get to practice words they know.

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