What Parents Can do to Help their Child be Ready for Kindergarten

Ask the Experts by Kristen DeVooght and Dorothy Heitjan

Q: How can we as parents help our preschooler make a successful transition into kindergarten? Might you have some tips to share?

A: It is vital in the preschool years to provide your child with the experiences that will build the foundation for later success in school.

In order to help your child build this foundation, parents should provide:

Hands on experiences:
Dig, cook, build, paint and sculpt with your child. Activities like these foster curiosity, eye-hand coordination, spatial relationships, and vocabulary development.

Daily reading:
This helps to build your child's vocabulary and word recognition. Song and rhyming playtime. Rhyming builds important phonemic awareness skills essential for reading.

Unstructured time to move and use the body:
Physical play promotes the essential skill of body awareness needed for understanding right vs. left, and understanding of prepositional concepts.

Toys that encourage imagination or thinking:
Important for development of social language and imagination.

Attend preschool, library story hour, or church where your child will learn and practice common social courtesies, such as turn taking, listening, and responding to a question.

Work at home on skills:
Upper and lower-case alphabet letters. Count to 20 orally. Count number of objects to 10 and identify numbers to 12. Write name with proper pencil grip.

Limited screen time with the TV, computer, and hand held devices:
Less time looking at a screen means more time engaging in real life interactions that teach a multitude of skills!

A good home routine with healthy meals and snacks:
Establish a set bedtime. School is all about routines -important for kindergarten and beyond! Kindergarten bridges preschool to elementary school.

Expectations for kindergarten students have changed drastically in the last ten years. What used to be "first grade" skills are now taught in kindergarten.

Incorporate the above tips into your daily routine and the transition will be smoother. Learn more about what parents and professionals can do to help their students get ready for kindergarten.

Save The Date

"Help Your Child Get Ready for Kindergarten"

Presented by The Family Center and Grosse Pointe Public Schools

November 9, 2017, 7pm
Brownell Middle School, 260 Chalfonte, Grosse Pointe Farms.

GPPSS presenters: Dorothy Heitjan, Early Childhood Program Teacher and Speech-Language Pathologist and Kristen DeVooght, Speech-Language Pathologist

Register early for this FREE presentation online, by phone 313.447.1374 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Enriching Our Community Through Stronger Families
The Family Center serves as the community's hub for information, resources and referral for both families and professionals. The Family Center is a non-profit organization founded with a mission to serve our community through programs and resources vital to today's families.

All gifts are tax-deductible.
To volunteer or contribute, visit the 'Get Involved' page, call 313-447-1374.
Email: info@familycenterweb.org or write to: The Family Center
32 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.