Kindergarten Preparation

These resources have been gathered to assist parents and caregivers in preparing their children for kindergarten.

Books

Look out kindergarten, here I come! by Nancy Carlson
Henry has been getting ready for kindergarten all year! But once that day comes, he’s scared. His mom and teacher reassure him and at the end Henry knows that “kindergarten is going to be fun!”

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A place called kindergarten by Jessica Harper
Tommy lives on a farm and all the animals are confused because one day he doesn’t come to visit them. When the dog tells them that Tommy went to kindergarten, they have no idea what that means! When Tommy returns home after school, he tells the animals all that he has learned, including his ABCs.

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Kindergarten countdown by Anna Jane Hays
The girl in this story is so excited to start kindergarten in seven days! This rhyming picture book introduces children to numbers and days of the week as well as typical kindergarten routines (learning ABCs, show and tell, 1writing names, lunch time, etc.).

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What your preschooler needs to know edited by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. and Linda Bevilacqua
Parents can use the poems, stories, art reproductions, song lyrics, and history and science lessons in this book to ready their children for kindergarten. Sidebars provide examples for how parents can discuss the information provided with their children while strengthening skills such as reading comprehension and vocabulary.

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Countdown to kindergarten by Alison McGhee
There are 10 days left until kindergarten starts, and the girl in this story is worried… Because she doesn’t know how to tie her shoes! She tries everything to avoid the dreaded day but when it finally comes, she learns that most of her classmates can’t tie theirs either! And that the teacher is going to help them learn how.

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Helping your child start school by Bernard Ryan, Jr.
Guides parents in helping their children understand what will happen during their first year of school. Also provides physical and psychological characteristics of kindergarten-aged children so parents can understand their children’s needs and development.

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Mom, it’s my first day of kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum
In this book, the roles are reserved and it’s mom who is so worried about kindergarten instead of the little boy! He loves his first day of school and afterwards tells his mom how “awesome” it was.

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Articles

Arnold, R., & Colburn, N. (2011). Get ready, get set… School Library Journal, 57(9), 21.
A kindergarten transition program has been implemented in Portland Public School with great success. Children attend the “practice kindergarten” for three weeks in order to gain classroom familiarity and critical skills. Parents also attend sessions and learn how to promote learning at home.

(2006). Television programs get kids “ready for school”. Reading Today, 24(1), 42.
This article introduces Grace Foxwell Murdock’s “Ready for School” TV show, which she developed after hearing teachers state that so many kindergarteners were coming to school unprepared. At the time of this writing it had aired for three seasons, each of which focused on a different skill (alphabet, math, and reading). DVDs of the program are distributed to children finishing preschool, along with Learning Boxes filled with supplementary materials.

Wildenger, L. K., & McIntyre, L. L. (2011). Family concerns and involvement during kindergarten transition. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 20(4), 387-396.
The authors conducted a research study to examine parental concerns, perceived needs, and involvement as their children prepared to attend kindergarten. Based on the result, they suggest a need for professionals to support children and their families during this transitional time.

Media

Junie B. Jones: Books 1-8 by Barbara Park
This audiobook set contains the first eight Junie B. Jones books. These short chapter books follow Junie B. as she embarks on the many adventures that kindergarten brings.

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Curious George’s first day of school by Margaret and H.A. Rey
This classic is now available as a picture book kit. The narration is accompanied with music and other background noises. Curious George attends his first day of school and as usual, chaos ensues!

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Vera’s first day of school by Vera Rosenberry
The sound recording in this picture book kit provides narration with or without page turn signals. Listen along as Vera experiences both fear and excitement on her first day of school.

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Online Resources

“How can I prepare my child for kindergarten?” from Baby Center
This website offers helpful advice to parents, such as to tour their children’s future school with them and help them develop their fine motor skills. Links are also included to reading and math skill building activities.

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“Kindergarten preparation” from Education.com
This page on Education.com links to many different articles and guides designed to prepare children for kindergarten. Information provided includes kindergarten entry requirements and preparation checklists from organizations such as the National Head Start Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

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“Preparing for kindergarten” from Hubbard’s Cupboard
Caregivers can learn how to develop children’s literacy, math, fine motor, social, and safety skills. Links to additional resources are included as well as book suggestions to ease children’s nerves.

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“33 ways to prepare your child for kindergarten” from I Can Teach My Child
This checklist is available to download as a PDF. It provides parents with simple ways to help their children develop the necessary skills to succeed in kindergarten.

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“Transitioning to kindergarten toolkit” from the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc.
This toolkit is provided so that teachers and parents can enhance children’s early literacy skills and prepare them for kindergarten. Materials include a readiness indicators checklist and observation/activity guide, drawing and writing sample template, screening tool, and handouts. Each section is available to download as a PDF.

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“Beyond the backpack” from Nickelodeon
This website is designed to help parents prepare their children for kindergarten. Users must take a quiz and answer questions about their children’s language, social, emotional, math, physical, and wellness abilities to receive a customized learning plan. Games, articles, printables, and videos are provided to assist children with the skills that need improvement.

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“Preparing for kindergarten” from Scholastic
Description: This website provides parents with information about what skills their children should possess before attending kindergarten and which skills they should be expected to learn during their first year of school. Language arts, listening, communication, and math skills are included.

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