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Prep Your Kid for Kindergarten


You will always be your child's first and favorite teacher. Your daily play and family interactions prepare your child to start school and go beyond. While the new school year may seem far away, these next few months will fly by, and you can do things today to help your child arrive at kindergarten confident and ready to learn, such as:

  • Read to your child. Reading is the single greatest thing you can do to ensure a lifelong passion for learning.
  • Ask your child questions that require an answer besides yes or no
  • Incorporate learning opportunities into daily tasks, such as car rides and shopping trips. Have your child find patterns; point out familiar objects; and count, sort or classify items.
  • This summer, try playing card games and board games, go for long walks, and inspect plants and insects.

Kindergarten teachers are excited to meet their new students who have been practicing these skills:

Social and emotional skills

  • Follow routines and can follow 3-step directions consistently
  • Feel comfortable and confident away from family for short times
  • Play cooperatively and is able to take turns with others
  • Express personal wants and needs clearly

Physical skills

  • Use the bathroom, wash hands and dress independently
  • Understand the concept of taking turns
  • Use crayons, scissors and pencils appropriately
  • Can run, jump, hop and skip

Academic skills

  • Recognize simple shapes and colors
  • Sing simple memorized songs
  • Show interest in stories and books
  • Recognize their own printed name and some signs and symbols, such as favorite restaurant logos or traffic signs
  • Copy patterns, including writing their own name
  • Recognize several letters of the alphabet and some numbers and can count
  • Express thoughts and ideas in drawings


Dana Vela is an early childhood educator and president of Sunrise Preschools. With locations throughout Arizona, Sunrise Preschools, established in 1982, provide a foundation for children to thrive and develop at their own pace.

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