Preparing Kids for Kindergarten Over the Summer

How do I prepare my kid for kindergarten?

The move from preschool to kindergarten is a big milestone for both parents and children! Summer is a great time to get your preschooler ready for this new and exciting chapter, whether they're beginning their school journey in a traditional school setting or a homeschool context. Before your child steps foot in their new class room, you can lay the groundwork for a smooth transition and a successful kindergarten experience.

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Establish Daily Routines

One essential way to prepare your kid for kindergarten is by establishing daily routines. Begin by setting a regular wake-up time and creating a morning routine that includes washing up, brushing those teeth, and preparing for the day ahead. Familiarizing your child with these habits will make mornings smoother.

Practice Daily Routines

It may seem obvious, but it’s important: Once you’ve established daily routines with your child, it’s important to practice and stick with them. Consistency is key. As your child gets more familiar with the daily routine, they’ll feel more comfortable transitioning to a more structured school schedule while feeling a sense of confidence, responsibility, and independence. You can help your child

Empower Your Child With Choices

Giving your child a sense of control is necessary in building their confidence. Allow them to make choices. This can include picking out outfits, choosing a lunchbox at the store, or deciding which crackers they want to take for snack time. The choices don’t have to be big, but they should be in charge of making them. And once they make their choices, be sure to honor them, encouraging their decision-making skills. You’ll also help your child feel more involved and excited about the upcoming school experience.

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Trial-Run Lunchbox Options

Kindergarten may involve a new experience of eating lunch with new people in a new place. The comfort and familiarity of home might seem far away. You can help your child prepare for this new experience by trying out different food options over the summer. Having some prior experience eating from a lunchbox will make the cafeteria experience less intimidating and more enjoyable.

•  Make choosing their lunchbox at the store an exciting outing and let your child pick which one they want to buy.
•  Ask your child what they would like to eat at lunch. Have your child help pack their own lunchbox. Then have a picnic outside.
•  Make sure your child knows which items to throw away or recycle, and which need to be brought back home.
•  Talk with your child about the process of lunch: getting their lunchbox, walking to the cafeteria in a line, eating with their friends, and cleaning up.

Adapting Your Child’s Nightly Routine

Practicing a nighttime routine can help your preschooler prepare to be a kindergartener. After all, getting ready for school starts the night before. You can help your child practice thinking about what activities they will do tomorrow, laying out their outfit for the next day, and packing their school bag to make sure they have everything they need for tomorrow. Adapting their night time routine promotes a sense of responsibility and organization, and it will help the morning feel less rushed (both for you and your kid).

Roleplay and Discuss Expectations

Children often feel more at ease when they know what to expect. Take the time to discuss what they can expect to happen at school. Share stories about the classroom, teachers, and new friends. After talking about what they might encounter at school, you can roleplay some scenarios. For example, your child might want to practice asking another child if they can play together at recess, or asking the teacher a question while raising their hand. Helping your child get familiar with the school environment through discussions and imaginative play can alleviate some anxiety and build excitement for the upcoming adventure.

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Read Books About Going to School

Books are powerful tools to prepare children for new experiences. Hearing school stories can help children understand how school works, what it’s like, and what to expect when they start kindergarten. Visit the local library or bookstore to pick out age-appropriate books about going to school. Then, read the story together and encourage your child to talk about it. improves language skills and creates a space for you and your preschooler to discuss feelings, expectations, and the fun they will have in kindergarten.

Talk About the First Day of School

Maybe your child is nervous, or excited, or a combination of both! Check in with your child about how they’re feeling. After all, the first day of school is a big moment in their life! You can share photos from YOUR first day of school, talk about your favorite teacher, and tell them what you loved about school. You can ask your child questions, like:

•What do you think you will do at kindergarten?
• What feelings do you have about school?
• What do you think your teacher will be like?
• What would you like to learn about?

Continuous Learning Through Play

Summer is a time for relaxation, but including playful learning activities every day is essential. This helps your little one build up their stamina for learning. Practicing letters and numbers through engaging games, puzzles, and interactive activities makes playtime learning time, reinforcing skills they've developed in preschool and sets a positive tone for their kindergarten journey ahead.

Looking for other ways to support your child’s learning through play? Check out the Preschool Box from Subscription Box Kids for monthly preschool activities that encourage learning, reading, and creativity.

Socialize in Group Settings

Kindergarten often involves group activities and social interaction with other kids. Find or arrange playdates, attend group activities, or visit a playground where they can interact with other children to help your child adjust to being in a group. They’re building social skills, cooperation, and getting comfortable with being around their peers, which can make for a smoother transition to kindergarten.

Figuring out how to help your kid prepare for kindergarten in a way that works for them is a proactive and nurturing approach. You are setting the stage for a successful start to their educational journey! By creating and practicing daily routines, empowering them with choices, practicing lunchtime rituals, adapting their nightly routine, roleplaying expectations, reading, continuous learning, and socializing can equip your child with the skills and confidence they’ll need for this exciting new adventure in kindergarten.

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