Off to a Good Start

As your child prepares to enter kindergarten, it is a time of great excitement and anticipation for the entire family.

The kindergarten year is one of the most important years in your child's school career; it is a time when attitudes toward school and learning are strongly influenced. A good kindergarten classroom provides a creative and stimulating environment where children can be excited about learning as they develop new skills. It is the foundation for the rest of the child's school experience.

Recognizing that parents are the most important people in young children's lives, we encourage you to help your child get ready for the kindergarten experience. Project Enlightenment has prepared this list of activities and ideas so that you can help your child get "off to a good start" in kindergarten.

Helping my child get ready for kindergarten

Mom and baby playing

Healthy Routine

  • Provide a daily routine that includes regular times for meals.
  • Establish a bedtime that gives my child ten or more hours of sleep at night.
  • See that my child has opportunities for rigorous physical activity, outside when possible, everyday.
  • See that my child has had required immunizations and current health examination.
Dad talking to son

Social Interaction

  • Teach ways to communicate needs and desires in a socially appropriate way.
  • Interact frequently with my child each day by talking and listening.
  • Provide opportunities to play with other children and form relationships.
  • Teach socially acceptable ways to disagree.
  • Encourage social values such as helpfulness, cooperation, sharing and concern for others.
  • Demonstrate common expressions of courtesy and praise my child for using them (please, thank you).
  • Establish reasonable limits for behaviors and hold my child to them.
  • Talk with my child about other cultures in our community.
  • Encourage work values such as initiative, persistence, and completion of tasks.
Mom reading to son

Literacy

  • Read to my child each and every day.
  • Provide books, magazines and other print materials for my child to handle.
  • Talk together about the pictures and story.
  • Provide opportunities to play alphabet games and read alphabet books.
  • Provide pencils, markers, and paper.
  • Encourage drawing and scribbling or writing.
  • Invite my child to help with grocery lists, grocery shopping, sending cards.
Mom helping child dress

Independence & Exploration

  • Help my child develop independence in dressing, eating and personal hygiene.
  • Help my child select and wear clothing appropriate for indoor climate and outdoor weather conditions.
  • Take my child to a variety of places such as the library, the park, the grocery store, and the post office and talk about what we see.
  • Provide toys, games and household objects that encourage exploration, manipulation and dramatic play. Play with my child using the materials.
  • Encourage problem-solving skills.