Ready for Kindergarten?

For preschoolers, kindergarten is just around the corner.  What kind of skills are important to make a successful transition into kindergarten?  This is the first in a regular series of posts that addresses practical ideas of things you can do at home or in your classroom to prepare your children for kindergarten.  

This post will focus on Social Skills.

In kindergarten, games are often used to reinforce academic skills. Being able to take turns and being a good sport are skills that will help your child succeed both academically and socially. Here are some ideas on how you can use games at home to help your child develop the important social skills needed for kindergarten:
  • Play a board game weekly with your child, as a family or help him do so with his friends.
  • Watch and encourage your child while playing games to make sure all the kids understand the rules and are treating each other fairly.
  • Some great, classic board games for preschoolers are Candy Land, Checkers, Memory, Hi-Ho Cheerio, and Chutes and Ladders. All of these are easy to understand and age-appropriate and kids can eventually play on their own.  My family loves to play Uno Attack together with mom and dad each making a team with one of our children. Also, you can check out for some games you can make or print at home. 

  • Praise works miracles! Remember to praise your child when he or she is waiting patiently and give him/her reminders that his or her turn is coming soon.
  • You can be a great example as you congratulate other players when they gain a point or win the game.  At our house, we have emphasized that the fun part about playing a game is the playing part . . . not the end!  
Not only does playing games teach your child Social Skills, but gives them exposure to numbers, letters, and colors, improve spatial and communication skills and give them a chance to receive extra positive attention from you! 

Who knew you could learn so much while having this much fun?! 

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