Preparing for Kindergarten with Preschoolers

This post on preparing for kindergarten is sponsored by Gymboree.

Preparing for Kindergaten with Preschoolers

With two kids in preschool and one who’s going to start kindergarten next year we’ve started to think long and hard about how we’re preparing for kindergarten.

From crafts to worksheets to exploring our city and different areas of town, we’re pinning down all of the great ways to enjoy our kids and help them learn the fundamentals they’ll need to take with them to kindergarten.

Over the next year we’re going to ramp up our lesson plans and use the excitement of play and exploration to help ready our kids for grade school.  And, of course, a back to school photo session with Tessa of Grin & Share It Photography is a must for us to document the momentous year ahead of us.

Here’s how we’re preparing for kindergarten with our preschoolers!

Gymboree Grow with Me Preparing for Kindergarten Grin & Share It Photography 5

Preparing for Kindergarten with Preschoolers

Here are the skills our kids are expected to know when going into kindergarten:

  • Identify some letters of the alphabet
  • Grip a pencil, crayon, or marker correctly (with the thumb and forefinger supporting the tip)
  • Use scissors, glue, paint, and other art materials with relative ease
  • Write his first name using upper- and lowercase letters, if possible
  • Count to 10
  • Bounce a ball
  • Classify objects according to their size, shape, and quantity
  • Speak using complete sentences
  • Recognize some common sight words, like “stop”
  • Identify rhyming words
  • Repeat his full name, address, phone number, and birthday
  • Play independently or focus on one activity with a friend for up to ten minutes
  • Manage bathroom needs
  • Dress himself
  • Follow directions
  • Clean up after himself
  • Listen to a story without interrupting
  • Separate from parents easily

Gymboree Grow with Me Preparing for Kindergarten Grin & Share It Photography 4

1. Identify What Your Child Can and Cannot Do

By using the list above, determine what your child can do. In a fun way, take moments throughout the day to pick a few items off of the list and ask your child to do them.

Make the experience fun for them and never force them to do something they aren’t ready to do.

2. Work On What They Can’t Do

Once you’ve identified what your child’s strengths and weaknesses are try to find tasks that will help them improve in their areas of weakness.

Does your child need to brush up on the alphabet? Use this alphabet worksheet to incorporate different letters in your everyday life. Do they skip numbers when counting to ten? Have them count groceries as you put them in the basket at the grocery store or count the number of cars you see while out on an evening walk.

Gymboree Grow with Me Preparing for Kindergarten Grin & Share It Photography 2

3. Make Learning Fun

Preschool is all about social interaction, not sitting at a desk all day and crunching numbers. When working on this list, make sure you create a warm, encouraging environment for your child.

As soon as it isn’t fun anymore, stop. By allowing your child to go at their own pace they’ll want to continue to challenge themselves and learn more in the process.

4. Utilize The Resources You Have

Does the city you live in have a great museum? An awesome zoo? Maybe an aquarium? Take advantage of the resources you have in your own town and use these resources to help teach your kids about the world around them.

Take a walk downtown, enjoy a day at the beach, talk about the things you see and find along the way. A simple nature walk can be used to teach kids about many different things that’ll help them in the years to come.

Gymboree Grow with Me Preparing for Kindergarten Grin & Share It Photography 1

5. Read, Read, Read

No matter how old or young your child is it’s important to read to them every day. Start by reading books cover to cover. Then start to pause a bit and see if they start asking questions. Ask a few questions yourself as you go through the book to get their mind thinking.

By opening up communication while reading you can start to learn more about how your child is processing the books you’re reading. You can also go over any of the skills that you’re working on and tie them into the book and the questions you ask while reading.

Plus, it’s always good to read to your kids!

Gymboree Grow with Me Back to School Grin & Share It Photography 3

How do/did you prepare your child(ren) for kindergarten?

Gymboree Grow with Me Preparing for KindergartenGymboree has an amazing selection of great quality kids clothing for any occasion.

Whether you’re updating your child’s wardrobe or finding the perfect outfit for an upcoming celebration, you can find exactly what you need at Gymboree. And the clothes are durable and wash well.

You can find adorable outfits like the ones my children are wearing in the pool on Gymboree’s website or in stores nationwide.

You can also find Gymboree on Facebook and follow them on twitter at @Gymboree.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Gymboree as part of the Grow with Me & Gymboree Ambassador program. I was compensated for this post, however all experiences and opinions are 100% my own. 

Photography by Grin & Share It Photography in San Diego

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  1. Very informative information on how to get your kids prepared for kindergarten! Thanks for sharing.

  2. great pictures! I am a homeschool mom, these are great tips that you shared!

  3. As always Danielle you have such great tips! Other ideas would be to take your kids to play on the playground at their school on the weekends (that’s allowed around here, not sure if it is in your town) so they get familiar with it. Lots of schools have summer playdates too right before school starts so parents and kids can meet.

  4. Great photos and tips! Getting our kids prepared for school truly helps them to be more at ease.

  5. Wonderful pictures! I think you have some great tips here for helping to prepare kids for school.

  6. Great tips and amazing clicks! My kid only use Gymboree. Thanks for sharing

  7. Love this list because it focuses not only on the academic parts of school, but social and others as well!! We did some of the things you listed with our oldest, but for our youngest, I think we’ll try to get a sitter/leave her with a trusted adult more than we did with our oldest.

  8. Those are great tips! We def tried some of them with our 5 year old and will be using them again when the baby is ready in 5 years! 🙂

  9. Gorgeous post!

  10. great tips! and lovely pictures, too : )

  11. I agree about making learning fun. One thing I did with all my girls is write letters in the sand when they were taking a break from the slide, the swings, and the monkey bars. When they had correctly identified a letter of the alphabet, I would ‘erase’ it and go onto another. They loved this game and we worked our way up to words quickly just by taking a moment in the sand.

  12. I LOVE the photos! This is a great list of things to do with your preschooler. I’m down to one preschooler and a toddler at home, so I can really focus better individually with them.

  13. Way cute kids – lovin that school photo setup! You know I’m a big Gymboree fan – now if I could just afford to shop there for 3 kids haha!

    The year being more organized was our big deal. Getting kids to independantly put away their lunchbox and put the ice pack in the freezer… coming up with fresh new lunch items and snacks… oh and going green with lunch i.e replacing ziploc bags with eco friendly snack bags and instead of paper towels as their napkin finding something washable. We’re working on being more health conscious and earth conscious. That was enough for me for getting ready for back to school!

  14. This is great! I vouch for the reading element, it’s a huge deal. My 1st grader is reading at a 3rd grade level, I firmly believe that it’s because we read to him early and often.

    The photos turned out so cute!

  15. Absolutely gorgeous photographs! That reminds me I need to get some scheduled for Brecken and you can bet she’ll be sporting her cute clothes from Gymboree!

  16. I prepared Jas for Kindergarten by having her tutored over the summer. I’ll never forget her first sight word, it was “the”, then “I” and then “to”. It’s funny what we has parents remember. They look so cute in their Gymboree!

  17. Oh my, this post came at the perfect time for us as I’ve got a Kindergartner in just TWO days. I know she doesn’t know our phone numbers, so this is what we will be working on today and tomorrow!


  1. […] my son is entering kindergarten in the Fall I want to make sure that he has every opportunity to explore the alphabet and get a […]

  2. […] Over the past year I’ve been trying my best to prepare my son for his first year of elementary school but I’m sure there are still some things I could be doing. I’ve written out a few back to school tips for kindergarten to help me stay on track and, hopefully, give my son a successful chance at his first year of school. […]

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