Preparing Your Preschooler for Kindergarten

young girl blowing bubbles

Your child’s toddler and preschool years are the time to prepare them for kindergarten. While kindergarten may seem far off, there are many factors that go into kindergarten readiness, including gross and fine motor skills, that your child should be developing as they grow. Motor skills are related to your child’s physical abilities and muscular development, making them great skills to practice during play.

Examples of gross motor skills are running and jumping, while fine motor skills involve smaller finger movements like holding a pencil. Activities to help develop these skills include the following:

  • Popping Bubbles: chasing after bubbles and trying to pop them helps with fine motor development.
  • Monkey Bars: climbing on monkey bars helps children develop muscle strength.
  • Kicking and Throwing a Ball: kicking a ball helps with balance and throwing a ball helps with coordination.
  • Simon Says: leading your children in Simon Says, you can have them do movements that help with motor development, such as side bends, touch toes, and jumping jacks.
  • Obstacle Course: set up an obstacle course with any materials available to you, such as a hula hoop for children to jump in and out of.
  • Hopscotch: going back and forth between hopping on one foot and two feet can help with balance and coordination.

Motor development is just one aspect of kindergarten readiness. To learn more about preparing for kindergarten, visit http://www.pbs.org/parents/experts/archive/2011/08/helping-children-prepare-for-k.html and http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/kindergarten-readiness/art-20048432?pg=1

Tell us what activities you try with your children!


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Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)