We hope that you enjoyed our “Getting Ready For Kindergarten (Part 1)” blog that was posted last week. Today, we bring you a few more key skills that will help your children have a happy and successful transition to kindergarten.
Skill 6: Fine Motor Skills
Developing strong fine motor skills (the ability to coordinate small muscle movements in the hand) is an important part of being kindergarten-ready. Your children will need their fine motor skills for a variety of tasks, such as holding a marker, counting small objects, and turning the pages of a book. Helping your children to develop these skills is actually not so tricky and it’s FUN! Our favourite fine motor skill building activity is “Play dough Pull Apart.” For this activity you will only need two things: play dough and popcorn kernels. To begin, hide some kernels in the play dough. Then, have your children pull apart the play dough to find the kernels. To extend this activity you can have your children count the kernels as they find them.
Skill 7: Phonological Awareness
Phonological Awareness is the ability to identify and manipulate sounds within words. Strong phonological awareness is one of the best predictors of reading success. There are many games that you and your children can play to develop and strengthen their phonological awareness skills. One we love is “Rhyming I Spy”. To play you ‘spy something’ that rhymes with the word you are thinking of. For example, “I spy something that rhymes with mat…cat!”
Skill 8: Love of Books
Cozying up for bedtime stories can be the best part of the day. To encourage your children to become more comfortable with books and with reading, we suggest that you to hand the book over to them and have them tell the story through the pictures. If you are reading the story to your children, still have them hold the book and flip the pages. The more familiar they are with books the more likely they are to pick up a book in their new classrooms.
We hope that you have found this information helpful and we wish you and your children a safe and happy first day of Kindergarten!
For other tips, suggestions, and support in helping your children get ready for kindergarten, please contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space at 416.925.1225 or visit our website.