Ensuring Your Child’s Success in Kindergarten

11 Easy Activities Parents and Children can do at Home

Day 5 by Abby Hendrickson/CC/flickr

Day 5 by Abby Hendrickson/CC/flickr

Parents are a child’s first and most important teachers. Research shows that parents have significantly greater influence over a child’s academic success than teachers do. If your child is heading to kindergarten this fall, there is plenty you can do at home to help your child prepare and set them on course for academic greatness.

“Providing opportunities and experiences for preschool-aged children to encounter reading and writing in a variety of places and contexts assists children in developing literacy understandings and skills that will benefit them throughout their lives,” said Dr. Rebecca Donaldson, Title I Early Childhood Specialist. “Parents who spend time reading aloud to children, pointing out the wonder of books, and engaging children in discussions build important foundations for vocabulary and listening comprehension. These are two critically important literacy skills that have long-lasting effects on children’s overall learning.”

The Utah State Office of Education has compiled a variety of resources that parents can use to complement their child’s learning of language skills, concepts of print, vocabulary, phonics and spelling.

Tips and Activities:

    •  Set aside a place for study activities.
    •  When talking to your child, speak in complete sentences and ask questions that cannot be answered in a yes or no.
    •  Encourage your child to be a good listener by being a good listener yourself.
    • Talk to your children about future plans.
    •  Praise your child often for the good things he/she does.
    •  Make sure your child can spell his/her name and knows that names begin with an upper-case letter.
    •  Help your child recognize that he/she knows a lot about a many things.
    •  Ask the teacher for a list of grade-level words. Write them in easy sentences so your child knows what words like little/big, to/from, in/out mean.
    • After reading several familiar nursery rhymes with the child, read the first two lines, leaving off the final rhyming for the child to say.
    • Read signs, labels, and other print aloud. Talk about what the information tells us, and why it is important or interesting to know.
    • Read aloud good stories so your child hears big words like puzzled, enormous, imaginary, curious, forest and learns what they mean.

Go to http://goo.gl/nmmXx for a complete list of parent resources, including “Kindergarten Here we Come!”  The electronic flip book includes specific lessons/activities parents can do with their child. The website also provides an easy-to-follow list of what your student will be learning under Utah’s State Core Curriculum for Language.


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