There are so many things you can do at home to prepare your child for a successful Kindergarten year. You may think, oh I’m not a teacher, I wouldn’t know where to start. What you don’t know, is that even if you don’t think you are a teacher, you are!
You are your child’s very first teacher.
You have such an incredible impact on later learning.
The best thing you can do for your child is to read to them. If you’re interested in reading what I did with my son and how I taught him 100 words by the time he was 1 year old, click here.
Something you can do right now is teach your child their name. This is such a good way to indtroduce letters.
I taught Kindergarten for several years and during that time I realized how pivotal it was for kids to know their name. Think about it. Your child has maybe 5-12 letters in their first and last name. Imagine if they walked into Kindergarten just knowing those letters! My son has 12 letters in his first and last name combined. That’s a big chunk of the alphabet!
By starting with your child’s name you are preparing them to learn the alphabet.
If you don’t know where to start, I have rounded up some ways to start practicing. Click on either the picture of the title to visit the site. *If your child already knows his or her name you can use these same activities to starting learning sight words. (Sight words make up 80% of the words we read daily. Here are some downloadable lists. Fry and Dolch word list are both reputable places to start)
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Write your child’s name on a piece of paper and dauber over each letter. These were a cleaner option than paint and I got these ones at the dollar store. (I found them on Amazon too!) You child will have fun with this one! My son loves to use all the different colors. This is also a great way to work on those fine motor skills.
Write your child’s name on a colorful piece of paper and give your child some stickers and let them go to town! (I would suggest starting with a capital at the beginning of your child’s name and then write the rest in lowercase letters, because that is how they will write their name in school). Kids love stickers! Go to the dollar store and get some fun little ones. Your child be practicing their name and they will also be working on their fine motor skills.
This is a fun activity to have your child do, again, remember, start with a capital and then do the rest lowercase. Write the letters of your child’s name on different colored pieces of paper. Help your child put them in order. Mix them up a couple times and have your child try to put them in order on their own. When you’re done, glue it down and make it into a rocket!
Here’s a fun activity with magnetic letters! Don’t have magnetic letters, don’t worry. You don’t even need them. If you have an ipad, just download this app.
You don’t need to have pictures with names on them, just use an index cards with your child’s name on it. You could make it more fun by adding in family members names and if you want to get really fancy you could add pictures!
This is such a fun way to practice your little one’s name and it’s also a way to introduce your child to science. You can have a conversation predicting what they think will happen and then watch every day to see what really does happen!
This is another easy one that can be done with very little supplies. Write your child’s name on a piece of paper or index card. Cut it so that you’re child can practice putting it back together by fitting the letters back into their place.
I love this one! I feel like it is a great place to start for many kids when they are just beginning to write their name. Type or write your child’s name at the top and then leave an open space as you go down. This will help your child to gradually work on their name one letter at a time.
This is an easy one you can do at home without any supplies. All you need is some paper and some highlighters. Write your child’s name several times and have your child try to trace their name. Don’t worry if at first your child just scribbles, this is normal.
Write your child’s name on little square pieces of paper. Have your child put them in order. Glue them down and then have your child practice writing each letter below. This is a good way to see progress. You could have your child do this once a month (write the date on the back) to see how much better they get at writing their name. You could even make it fun by doing a theme for every month!
I hope these ideas help you to get started! Do you have a favorite way that you’ve helped your child learn their name? I would love to hear about it!