Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

Tips to Help Your Child Succeed.

Families are young children’s first and most important teachers. Child care providers also play an important role in helping children learn and grow. During children’s early years, families and child care providers can help them “get ready for school.”

School readiness includes teaching children how to:

Explore Language

  • recognize words that rhyme
  • make words that rhyme, including silly words
  • identify beginning sounds in words, like “s” in “sand”
  • recognize separate sounds in words, like “c” and “at” in “cat”
  • speak in complete sentences

Get Ready to Read

  • hold a book
  • use their finger to follow words across a page from left to right; top to bottom
  • match words in print with spoken word
  • look at pictures to tell what is happening in the story

Pay Attention

“Wow! You knew most of the letters in that word.”
  • listen in a group
  • follow directions and routines
  • be interested in learning

Get Along With Others

  • express interest in other children
  • share and cooperate with others
  • solve problems without hitting others

Know Letters, Numbers, Colors, and Shapes

  • recognize his/her own name in print
  • write a few letters of his/her name
  • recognize letters of the alphabet
  • recognize written numbers from one through ten
  • know the difference between written numbers and letters
  • count to ten
  • recognize colors and shapes

Do Things Themselves

“What a smart boy (or girl) you are to know that.”
  • use buttons and zippers
  • dress and undress themselves
  • use the bathroom and wash hands with minimal help

Be Safe by Knowing ...

  • his/her address and telephone number
  • the name of his/her school
  • bus pickup and drop-off places
  • how to cross streets: look both ways, cross at safe corners
  • how to contact a safe adult in an emergency

Fun Things to do With Your Child

"Now you try it by yourself"


  • Point out that “book” starts with a “b” sound. Ask your child to name other words that start with that sound. Make a game of naming as many “b” words as possible.
  • Visit the local library, and let your child select a special book. Read it together.
  • Write the letters in your child’s name on small pieces of paper. Let him/ her arrange them in the right order.


  • Let your child practice writing numbers and letters on paper.
  • Ask your child to read prices of items in a store.
  • Use your fingers or toes to count to ten.
  • Count socks together as you do the laundry.

Rhyming words

  • See how many words you can think of that rhyme with “tree.”
  • Make up silly rhyming words—like burger, lurger, wurger.
  • Encourage your child to ask for things in complete sentences. “Would you please pass the milk?”


  • Learn a simple nursery rhyme and practice it until you both know it.
  • Think of all the opposite words you know, such as “tall / short” and “over / under.”
  • Play with the separate sounds in words. Say it starts with an “s” sound and ends with the “it” sound. Have your child put the sounds together to form the word “sit.”


  • Play the I Spy Game. Say “I spy something red.” Let your child guess what it is.
  • Teach your child how to use large pencils, crayons, paint brushes, and blunt scissors.
  • Let him/her cut out magazine pictures and paste them on paper. Find pictures that are blue, green, red, etc.
  • Have fun sorting items like buttons by color or size.


  • Point out basic shapes like circle, square, and triangle. Look for items in your home that are these shapes.
  • Cut simple shapes out of cardboard and practice tracing around them.
  • Draw silly pictures made entirely from squares or circles.
  • Stack cans in order from biggest to smallest.

What Else Helps a Child to Learn?

Good Health!

  • Healthy Foods
  • Checkups
  • Rest
  • Cleanliness
  • Immunizations

Remember, Learning Takes Time!

Some new ideas need to be repeated many times for Children to understand or remember them. Support and praise them.

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