By Danielle Lankford, Guadalupe School Communications Specialist
It's almost summer! A time to soak up some sun, get outdoors, and take a break. Unfortunately, summer is also a time when children lose some of what they have learned during the school year. It happens to everyone, but there are ways to keep your child engaged with learning over summer break.
This is especially important for the little ones in our early learning programs who will be getting ready to start their school careers in Kindergarten soon! So, if you have a little guy or gal, what can you do to make sure they are Kindergarten ready come August?
1. Review letter sounds and writing names in uppercase.
In Kindergarten, students will begin learning how to read. For three and four year olds, recognizing letters and the sounds that they make is the first step. During the summer, read with your child and ask them about letters in the book, watch letter videos on Youtube or PBS Kids, or look for letter recognition games. Preschoolers have also been learning how to write their own names in uppercase letters, and practicing this exercise during the summer helps reinforce letter recognition and sounds.
2. Encourage practicing number recognition and counting.
Play games that require counting like hide and go seek or Candy Land. Counting and number recognition skills will lay the foundation for early math in Kindergarten. Videos and online games can also come in handy for practicing this skill, so be sure to check out the online resources below!
3. Provide lots of opportunities for socializing with other kids and adults.
Social and emotional learning and development is one of the most important things happening in your child's life from age 0-5. In Kindergarten, students will be expected to follow classroom rules and play nicely with their peers. Practicing skills such as conversation, sharing, and and pretending during the summer will assist that social growth process.
4. Foster independence by allowing your child to do things for herself.
It may take a little...or a lot....longer for your child to tie their own shoes, pick up their own toys, or make their own bed, but in Kindergarten, children will be expected to be more independent. Providing lots of ways to do that in the summer, when time is not so limited will help your child build those skills without driving Mom and Dad crazy.
5. Engage in activities that support development for gross motor skills.
Gross motor skills are large movements your preschooler makes with his arms and legs. Examples might be running, climbing, jumping, and kicking - all things best left to the outdoors. Take your child to the park or outside frequently, because they are doing more than simply playing, they are learning how to use their bodies, and burning off energy at the same time.
Here are some great websites to visit this summer to help reinforce these skills: