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News in Youth Services

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ready for Kindergarten: Physical Skills

Welcome to the final installment of the Ready for Kindergarten series! We will cover the necessary physical skills children are expected to have when they enter kindergarten. 

These skills include:
  • knows how to use classroom tools: pencils, crayons, scissors, paper
  • holds pencil correctly
  • able to button, zip, snap clothing and shoes
  • knows how to open snack and lunch packages
  • uses bathroom independently

The best way to ensure your child is ready to use classroom tools is to provide access to the necessary materials. They will need to bring their own scissors, glue, crayons, pencils and markers to school so why not go ahead and let them use them (with supervision) at home? 

 It might add 15 minutes to leaving the house, but try to encourage your little ones to dress themselves--including zipping up their coats and putting on their shoes. Their teachers will thank you! 

Here's one that I didn't think about before--how often do your kids open their own food packages? As with any task, practice makes perfect. Give them the opportunity to open packages at snack time or when cooking dinner.

In my work with the preschool set, I have observed that a lot of kids don't know how to use scissors and glue. Cutting with scissors strengthens the hand muscles used for writing. One way to give kids practice cutting is to have them cut out pictures from the newspaper or weekly grocery store advertisements. You can also use this task to practice letter recognition, sorting by color, and build up their vocabulary. Take all those cut-outs, give them a blank piece of paper and a glue stick and you have given them a full afternoon of activity.

We have a ton of books on activities for kids that also help them get ready for school. Personally, I like this one for the wide variety of activities and this one for the introduction to the scientific process.

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