Games for Soon to Be Kindergarteners to Practice Skills Necessary for School

As summer winds to an end, kindergarten parents everywhere are getting their children ready for their first day of school. These final days of August are full of… shopping trips for school supplies and first day of clothes, helping kids remember their teacher’s name, the alphabet and counting, reading and much more.

You may be attending welcome events at your child’s new school. Or you may have found a local parent group that arranges playdates at school for incoming kindergarteners. Take advantage of these so your kids can get to know their new classmates and practice getting along.

You can use these times to play games that develop skills necessary for kindergarten. Whether enjoying a morning play session at home or participating in a playgroup, try introducing some of these games to develop skills for school.

  • Grocery Store. Pick three to five colored objects. Call out “I am going to the store to buy some… grapes!” or another food. Your child must run and touch the color the food matches.
  • Simon Says. Children must follow any directions when it begins with “Simon says”, such as “Simon says touch your nose.” If the direction does not begin with “Simon says”, they do not need to follow the direction. The object is to listen carefully.
  • Hi My Name Is. Everyone must walk around practicing introducing themselves with the following exchange. The first person says, “Hi, my name is _____.” The second person says, “Hi, my name is _____.” The first person says, “Nice to meet you.” The second person repeats this back. The first person says, “See you later.” The second person responds, “Bye!”
  • Going on a Picnic. Practice letters and sounds by having each person take turns saying their name and one thing they will bring on a picnic that starts with the same letter as their their first letter in their name.
  • Sequence Touch. Teach listening and following directions by giving your child three things to touch in a particular order then return to you.
  • Zoo. Give your child a letter. S/he must then walk around like an animal that starts with the same letter. When you say freeze, s/he then makes the sound of that animal.
  • Group Count. Teach patience and counting by having a group of children take turns counting. They must count as high as they can, but may not go in a specific order. Every child remains silent unless they are saying a number. If two people say a number at the same time, the group must start back at 1.

What games do you play with your future kindergarteners?

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