Many parents ask how to prepare their child for kindergarten. The answer to that question is not a simple to do list. It is not a quick preparation, but a life long learning process. What your children learn from birth will prepare them for all the new adventures that life will offer.
Newborn babies are totally dependent on caregivers to take care of their basic needs. A caregiver must feed babies regularly, nurture them, talk to them, bath and dress them in order for the baby to grow and survive. Babies learn to cry as a way to communicate with the caregivers and soon realize how to get reactions from others by smiling and making sounds. They will learn to trust that needs are being met as caregivers respond to them. Babies soon begin to develop skills that will help them survive as they get older and begin to feed themselves, crawl, walk and move around by themselves. They begin to explore their environment and discover how things are manipulated with their hands, feet and mouth.
As young children begin to develop language, they discover new communication skills that help them get what they need, (or want). Children need to be talked to and read to often to help them develop language. They will hear the words and try to imitate them. Social situations are very important in fostering language and communication skills. Children learn by examples of what is shown and taught to them. Ask them questions so they can learn how to listen and respond.
Self -help skills are extremely important to attain independence. They must know how to feed themselves, take care of bathroom needs, wash their hands and dress themselves. Children must learn how to interact and socialize with people around them, through actions and conversations. Playing with other children can help with concepts of sharing, taking turns, and making friends. (see my blog posted previously about social skills). Children that have learned the alphabet, and numbers have a head start when they are to begin kindergarten. How to hold a pencil, use scissors and how to write their name gives them a great advantage too. They need to know how to problem solve, follow directions and finish a task.
Children must be able experience new environments such as; the park, grocery store, zoo, other people’s home or daycare centers, to be able to see other people to gain knowledge. They need to ask questions to understand situations unfamiliar to them. This will help them adjust to new opportunities. They need to be able to be comfortable in new places as well as emotionally strong enough, brave enough, to be away from caretakers.
So, how to prepare children for kindergarten starts from birth. Children must learn to be able to communicate with adults and other children. They must have self-help skills, be physically, emotionally and cognitively mature enough to be able to be on their own. This is what they have learned from the moment they are born.