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Kindergarten Readiness Activities

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Is your five year old ready for kindergarten? What should your kids know before starting kindergarten? Lots of parents wonder if their kids are really ready for kindergarten. Let’s talk about what you can do at home this summer to get your preschoolers ready for kindergarten. 

Ultimately, only you can decide if your child is truly ready for kindergarten, but completing kindergarten readiness activities can help you feel a lot more confident. Today, let’s talk about kindergarten preparation and kindergarten readiness assessments.

Keep reading to discover all kinds of fun activities you can do to help prepare your soon to be kindergartners.

Kindergarten readiness activities

What a Kindergartner Should Know

What should a 5 year old know before kindergarten? It might not be what you think. There are all kinds of kindergarten readiness skills your child will need to master for a successful kindergarten year. 

Fortunately, kindergarten preparation at home can be easy and lots of fun too. Here are some of the skills teachers want your kindergartner to know:

Early Literacy & Handwriting Skills

  • Practice writing letters
  • Learn to write their names
  • Letter recognition and identification
  • Know the sound each letter makes
  • Know how to turn book pages
  • Be able to identify the first page in a book
  • Rhyming skills
  • Environmental print

Math Skills for Kindergarten Preparation

  • Identify numbers
  • Count by rote
  • One to one correspondence
  • Know colors
  • Recognize and identify shapes
  • Sorting skills

Gross Motor Skills

  • Balance
  • Accurately mimic movements
  • Jumping
  • Kicking
  • Crossing the midline

Fine Motor Skills

  • Cutting and scissor skills
  • Molding playdough
  • Buttoning 
  • Zipping
  • Pinching
  • Proper pencil grip

Focus and Attention

  • Ability to follow 2 and 3 step instructions
  • Learn to focus for increasing lengths of time

Social / Emotional Skills

  • Ability to express feelings
  • Empathy for others
  • Interacts and plays with others in a group
  • Sharing and taking turns

Kindergarten Readiness Activities

Kindergarten readiness activities can help you prepare your rising kindergartners for the upcoming year. Check out some of the fun kindergarten readiness activities available here at The Primary Parade to help prepare your kids:

Early Literacy Skills

You won’t need to teach your kids how to read at home, but it’s important to impart important early literacy skills to your rising kindergartners. One of the best ways to help your kids learn important early literacy skills like letter recognition and phonemic awareness is by reading aloud. 

There are tons of fun books you can read aloud to help your kids prepare. In each unit study lesson plan here at The Primary Parade, you’ll find 5 relevant book suggestions to help your preschoolers discover rhyming, expand their vocabulary, and learn to recognize letters before kindergarten. 

kindergarten prep activities

Then, use related kindergarten readiness activities, like my Let’s Go Fishing Beginning Sounds Game to help your kids practice identifying beginning sounds while having fun.

kindergarten readiness activities

Other fun kindergarten readiness activities for building early literacy skills include Alphabet Tracing Worksheets with tons of early literacy practice on every page.

Handwriting for Kindergarten Readiness

To prepare your kids for kindergarten, help them practice writing the letters of the alphabet, especially the letters in their own name. There are tons of fun kindergarten prep activities to help your preschoolers master writing their own names.

Check out my Editable Tracing Template for name writing practice that’s fun with your early learners this year.

kindergarten preparation

You can practice early writing skills with some fun hands on kindergarten readiness activities too. Try a few of these fun activities:

  • Writing letters in shaving cream
  • Sand or salt writing tray 

Early Numeracy Skills

Kindergarten readiness activities that will help your kids master math at an early age include counting skills, sorting skills, and being able to identify numbers, colors, and shapes. To help your kids master these skills: check out the following kindergarten readiness activities from my shop:

Try this fun Plant Counting Activity to build number recognition, counting skills, and one-to-one correspondence with your rising kindergartners. Then, practice shapes with 8 fun shape activities. Finally, don’t miss this kindergarten readiness activity for learning colors: Color Mixing Science Experiment.

get ready for kindergarten with easy shape activities

Want more hands-on practice for kinesthetic learners? Try counting steps as you climb them or counting out crackers and fruit at snack time. Play board games like Hasbro’s Candy Land and The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel from Educational Insights for a fun kindergarten prep activity.

Gross Motor Activities for Rising Kindergartners

All children develop gross motor skills at different rates, but you can help your rising kindergartners develop important gross motor skills for healthy physical activity with these fun kindergarten readiness activities:

Play a game of kickball or have a soccer shoot out. Any ball that can be kicked will work for this fun kindergarten prep activity. 

Try a game of hopscotch or a sidewalk chalk obstacle course to build gross motor skills like balance, jumping, and skipping with your kids. Games like 4 Square are perfect for building these gross motor skills too.

Dancing and jumping on a trampoline are fantastic ways to help your kindergartners develop important gross motor skills too. Another important skill is learning to ride a bicycle or tricycle. Your kids will learn to balance and master coordination as they learn how to pedal their bike or trike. You can draw a fun sidewalk chalk bike path or obstacle course for even more fun too.

Simply playing on playground equipment like slides, monkey bars, and swings can help your kids develop important gross motor kindergarten readiness skills that will last a lifetime. Plus, it’s a whole lot of fun! 

Finally, don’t be afraid to get in on the fun with your kids and help them learn the importance of healthy physical activity with sports and games that will get your rising kindergartners moving indoors and outdoors this school year. The American Heart Association recommends 60 minutes of physical activity every day for a healthy lifestyle. So, get up and get moving to build balance, coordination, kindergarten readiness, and your health.

Fine Motor Activities for Kindergarten Preparation

Before you can master handwriting skills with your rising kindergartners, you’ll need to develop their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are essential for handwriting as well as many important activities like tying shoes, getting dressed, and manipulating small objects. Check out my article on Fine Motor Skills Activities for all kinds of fun activities you can use with toddlers, preschoolers, and rising kindergartners to help them master these essential skills. 

Then, try some of our favorite fine motor skill building kindergarten readiness activities:

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Building Social-Emotional Awareness

An important part of setting your kids up for success in kindergarten includes helping them to develop emotional awareness and build valuable social skills. This knowledge will help your rising kindergartners to manage their emotions, show empathy for others, and establish positive relationships.

emotions playdoh mat

Check out these fun kindergarten readiness activities for building social skills and emotional awareness:

Kindergarten Readiness Activities that Build Focus and Attention

There are all kinds of fun games you can play with your rising kindergartners to help them build focus and attention. Here are a few of our favorites:

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment

How will you know if your child is truly ready for kindergarten? After all, kindergarten is a lot different these days than it was when you and I went! Your preschooler might be the right age to begin kindergarten in the fall, but are they ready?

The good news is that practicing with the kindergarten readiness activities above will help your kids master the skills they need to be prepared for kindergarten. If you’re a checklist person, here’s a helpful kindergarten readiness assessment in the form of a kindergarten checklist you can use to determine if your child is ready:

  • Follows simple directions
  • Sits and listens to a story
  • Uses the restroom independently
  • Recognizes letters and numbers
  • Recognizes colors and shapes
  • Practices gross motor skills
  • Practices fine motor skills
  • Can share and take turns with peers
  • Regulates emotions

The most important kindergarten readiness assessment of all is identifying whether or not your child is interested in learning.

Kids have different learning styles and many of them aren’t interested in sitting and listening to long lectures or completing endless worksheets. Don’t be discouraged if your rising kindergartener hasn’t quite mastered sitting still for a story or using scissors. 

A child who is interested in learning and eager to try new learning activities and practice these kindergarten readiness activities will succeed in kindergarten. Have fun with the hands-on learning activities, books, games, and kindergarten readiness worksheets above as you prepare your kids for their kindergarten year through graduation

What kindergarten readiness skills will you focus on this year? Did I forget to mention something important? Tell me all about it in the comment section. Then, share your favorite kindergarten readiness activities in the comments for everyone to try in their own preschool classrooms and at home preschools. 

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