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If your child is headed for kindergarten, explore these steps for a smooth transition. Discover fun ways to help your child build fine and gross motor skills. Explore multisensory techniques to help your child with writing. And see a collection of videos that show what kindergarten academic skills look like in action.

Kindergarten readiness

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Fine Motor Skills

Did you find this helpful? Encouraging an early love of books and reading will also support language learning and development. Children entering Kindergarten should be able to count small groups, name the colors, order items and recognize patterns. Try to integrate these skills into everyday life at home.

Have your little one count the utensils when they help to set the table or order their teddy bears from smallest to largest. Able-bodied children should be able to run, change direction, stop, stretch and crouch with ease. They should also be able to throw and catch a ball, hop, skip, walk backward, and walk up and down stairs.

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These movements which use large muscles are known as gross motor skills. Children should also be practicing their fine motor skills which include being able to hold a pencil, pick up small objects using a pincer grip, use safety scissors, and complete simple puzzles. Parents often presume that school is the place where children will learn everything they need to know. As a former early year's teacher of 13 years, I know what a difference a little Kindergarten prep can make. If children have already begun to tackle the basics like practicing writing their name, counting to 10, and sounding out their letters, the teacher can increase both the pace of instruction and the breadth of education they offer.

I would add from my experience that it's so helpful if children have also been taught basic self-care skills before term starts. These include being able to wipe their own nose, put on and take off their shoes and coat, and open and zip up their backpack without assistance. These small jobs, when multiplied by a large class, can monopolize a teacher's time and energy.

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Although these skills constitute a basic readiness for the demands of Kindergarten, the list is not exhaustive, and parents shouldn't panic if their child hasn't mastered them all before school starts. Elanna Yalow, Chief Academic Officer at KinderCare reminds parents that every child is different and develops at their own pace. Readiness is very individual to each child and cannot be easily measured.

Kansas Kindergarten Readiness - Ages and Stages

She also points out that many of these skills can be delayed or are dependent on a child's socioeconomic status. All of these skills are ongoing and improve as children grow and develop.

Offer plenty of opportunities at home for your child to flourish across a range of skill bases and not only will they be getting ready for Kindergarten, but they will also be developing essential life skills to help them to soar! By Fiona Tapp.

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

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