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Top 10 Kindergarten Transition Tips

Written by: Editorial Staff

August 17, 2011
Filed Under Parenting 


A list of the top ten kindergarten transition tipsContributed by Cindi Pearce, Top 10 Guru

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life, kiddo.

You are going to kindergarten.

For some kids, this is an exciting and much looked forward to event. For others, it causes anxiety and fear. If your child has gone to nursery school, Head Start or pre- K, the transition may be easier, but you never know.

As a parent you have got to figure out a way to make the transition to kindergarten easy, gentle and fun for your child. Here are the top 10 ways to make the transition easier.

10. Know what to expect

A list of the top ten kindergarten transition tips

Kindergarten will not be like you remember it. Kindergarten has become more academic and the pace is faster. Kindergarteners need to do things that you weren’t required to do until you were in second grade. Read books about kindergarten and talk about what you’ve read. You can do this all summer long.

9. Talk about kindergarten

A list of the top ten kindergarten transition tips

Long before the first day of school arrives, talk about kindergarten in an excited and encouraging way, telling your child about the things that will happen and what the day will be like. Talk about making new friends and meeting new adults.

8. Practice the basics

A list of the top ten kindergarten transition tips

Some of the things that a teacher is going to observe about your child include whether he knows his name, and if he is capable of speaking in complete sentences. Work with your child before the school year begins. Your child should know his full name, speak in complete sentences, be able to understand and follow directions, including those that involve two steps: Get up from your chair and walk to the chalkboard.

7. Teach basic concepts

A list of the top ten kindergarten transition tips

Does your child understand positions, such as up/down, top/bottom, first/last? Teach these concepts to him. Make a game out of learning colors, shapes and numbers. Look at letters of the alphabet together and understand that letters make words. If you are peeling potatoes for supper have him count the number of potatoes you have peeled. Ask him what color and shape the potatoes are.

6. Build familiarity

A list of the top ten kindergarten transition tips

Buy your child a lunchbox if he’s going to be eating at school and practice packing the lunch, talk about the food items and why they’re good for him. He may have to learn how to open containers. Let him practice doing that. He may need some help organizing his new school backpack.

5. Review manners

A list of the top ten kindergarten transition tips

Discuss social skills and manners with your child: Please, thank you, you’re welcome, excuse me. Tell him how this is important when you are in a group of people as he will be when he joins his kindergarten class. Talk about sharing, being patient and waiting his turn. Kids need to learn social skills, so they can get along with other kids and their teacher.

4. Learn signs

A list of the top ten kindergarten transition tips

While visiting the school, show him the signs that he will see and is expected to obey such as DO NOT WALK or CROSSWALK or BUS STOP or SCHOOL. This helps him to become familiar with signs and what they stand for and the importance of paying attention to them. It also gets him acquainted with words, shapes and logos.

3. Visit the classroom

A list of the top ten kindergarten transition tips

Take your child to the school during the summer months to take an unofficial tour. Find your child’s classroom and explore. Leave nothing to the imagination. Showing him the ropes and going through the way things are going to be done, not only once but twice will give him more confidence and lessen his worries.

2. Talk and listen

A list of the top ten kindergarten transition tips

Kindergartners – unlike older children – are enthusiastic and love to talk about their day. Ask questions. Look at the work he has done. Praise him. Ask him if he had any problems. Keep the lines of communication open so your child knows that he can talk to you about anything.

1. Establish a routine

A list of the top ten kindergarten transition tips

Try your best to get him to bed early the night before school, so he gets ample sleep – although this is hard to come by when your child is excited (and perhaps scared) – and is rested for the big day. Make sure that your child has a good breakfast before venturing out. If he’s starving by 10 a.m., he will be preoccupied with his hunger pains and not be able to pay attention. If he is supposed to take a snack with him make sure he has it in his book bag. Give him a big hug and a kiss and a high five.

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One Response to “Top 10 Kindergarten Transition Tips”

  1. Missy on August 17th, 2011 8:42 pm

    This was an excellent article. I still remember my daughter’s first day of kindergarten. I bawled my eyes out – she, however, happily skipped down the hall with her friends. :)