This is a sponsored post written by Suzanne Wandling, Outreach Coordinator, Oklahoma Virtual Preparatory Academy
“Kindergarten Readiness” – two words that cause a mom’s heart to skip a beat. Feelings of excitement and doubt come with big life transitions, and deciding if your child is ready for kindergarten is one of them.
We encourage you to take time to get to know your child’s strengths. At the same time, relax and have fun. Many of you may be familiar with the adage, “Children learn by doing, and play is their work.” Rest easy moms, here are some easy, engaging ways to prepare your child for kindergarten through their play and learning time.
- Social Development includes playing well with other children, helping with family chores, focusing on a task, increasing attention span, and following simple, two-step directions. To boost this area of development, include the following activities in your routine:
- Set regular playdates with like-minded families, with the goal to develop good social skills. Having reinforcement for these skills in another person’s home is a blessing!
- Teach responsibility early and often.
- Role-play acceptable ways to ask for a toy.
- Integrate quiet, independent time into your child’s daily routine. Equip her with 1-2 toys and books. Providing limited activities will allow your child to increase attention span and curiosity.
- Physical Development focuses on fine and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills (small movement/hands) includes: buttoning/zipping clothes, controlling a pencil, tracing dotted lines, coloring within a shape, drawing people, and using scissors. Gross motor skills (big movement/whole body) includes: running, walking in a straight line, jumping, hopping, and throwing a ball with relative accuracy.
Motor skills progress rapidly at this age. Providing activities to develop these areas will assist with the writing, coloring, and cutting activities your child will engage in at school.
- Encourage your child to dress independently. Lay out your child’s clothes the night before and let her dress herself in the morning.
- Make a sand box. Bury toys and have your child retrieve them with tongs, tweezers and fingers.
- Inspire a chef! Have your child help in the kitchen by peeling potatoes, grating cheese, slicing bananas, and measuring ingredients.
- Engage your child with crafts that include beads and string.
- Encourage your child to begin writing by having pencils, crayons, and markers within easy reach.
- Academic Readiness is the third area of growth. Some skills include: knowing basic colors, writing 1-10, counting 1-20, identifying all uppercase letters and most lowercase letters (randomly), printing name correctly, along with copying and naming basic geometric shapes. Develop these skills at home with these hands-on learning activities:
- Play with alphabet floor mats. Have your child jump to letters to show recognition, and use letters to spell his name.
- Use a placemat with letters and numbers.
- Play with hula hoops and empty boxes–perfect for learning spatial concepts (in/out).
- Enjoy “I Spy” games–I spy a 3, a letter B, etc.
- Sort Legos by color, shape, and size.
- Immerse your whole family in books and language!
Looking Ahead with OKVPA
To get a feel for what’s next for your growing genius, here are some activities that come straight from the Oklahoma Virtual Preparatory Academy, (OKVPA) Kindergarten curriculum. OKVPA is a tuition-free, Prek-8 virtual public school available statewide in Oklahoma. Our program creates a personalized learning experience for families using the Calvert curriculum. These are some activities from the first ten lessons:
- discuss what to wear based on the weather
- play directions games
- are exposed to literature and discussions about sharing and being polite
- develop a plan for privileges and responsibilities
- discuss responsibilities and self esteem
- explain and demonstrate how to move large and small objects
- practice cutting straight edges, corners, and circles
- participate in balancing games
- have fun playing hopping games
- identify letters and sounds
- develop phonemic awareness
- make predictions based on titles and pictures
- answer questions after stories to develop comprehension skills.
Learn more at our Kindergarten Readiness Online Info Session
This session is designed for parents of preschool and kindergarten students. Join OKVPA to learn more about the three growth indicators necessary for kindergarten success. Helpful resources will be shared to help you walk through the decision making process. It will be a fun and insightful session!
When: Wednesday, 4/29
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Online – Log in details will be provided via email prior to the session
Registration Required: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f094fa5a72faafb6-okvpa2
To view our entire schedule of upcoming events, click here!