Going to kindergarten is a major milestone of early childhood. As with other transitions, going to kindergarten can bring about feelings of excitement as well as fear for children and families. For example, a child’s readiness for kindergarten may be a question on the mind of many families. Children who are ready for kindergarten are able to do things independently such as going to the bathroom, getting dressed on their own, and other personal hygiene tasks. Ready children also have acquired more complex motor skills like skipping and balancing as well as developed the fine motor skills needed to use a writing utensil. Kindergarteners may still be working on self-regulation skills but they can engage in some strategies to manage their behavior and emotions so that they can learn academic skills in the kindergarten classroom.
Whether coming to kindergarten from a preschool setting or the home, parents can support children’s readiness with a few simple activities.
- Read together every day
- Provide opportunities to draw, write, and use scissors
- Engage in counting and comparison activities during play and routines such as meals
- Play with blocks and other small manipulatives to support fine motor coordination
- Support children in making positive choices on their own
- Make sure children get enough sleep and healthy meals
In the first weeks of school, children may be evaluated using a kindergarten readiness assessment to help teachers understand their developmental progress and how best to support their learning. Children who receive special education services in preschool will receive transition support to continue services in kindergarten.