Kindergarten teacher gives tips on preparing your little one starting school in the fall

May 5, 2023, 4:13 PM

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — With summer just around the corner, parents may be wondering what activities they can do with their little ones to gear up for kindergarten in the fall.

Kari Sharpe has been an educator for nearly 30 years and currently teaches kindergarten at West Valley Elementary. She believes it is important to have one-on-one conversations with pre-K students the summer before school.

“They make tons and tons of brain growth during this time. They are ready to learn and sometimes if we miss that window, we never make it up,” Sharp explained. “I can tell the first day of school the kids that have been spoken to.”

Sharp said there are activities parents are already doing that can help prepare their little ones for the fall.

For example, arts and crafts strengthen fine motor skills.

“Beads on pipe cleaners take real fine motor skills. I have fun just with little tweezers that my students use to pick up pom-poms,” she said.

Counting the beads and pom-poms can also help your child learn their numbers, Sharp said.

As for learning the alphabet, asking questions when playing eye-spy can be a fun tool.

“Ask them, ‘What sound does ‘dock’ begin with?’ They don’t even have to know the letter if they can identify that sound,” she said.

Elsie Wong has fun painting with her 4-year-old daughter Evelyn. She said it gives her the opportunity to practice conversational skills by asking her questions.

“I ask her, ‘Oh, what made you draw that?’ And it’s not necessarily about the result of like what it looks like in the end, but how she picked them and why she picks those things,” Wong said.

Little Evelyn is starting kindergarten next school year and her mom is excited to have a summer full of fun and learning.

“Kids are meant to play and if you give them the space and the tools to be able to play, they will learn so much,” she said.

For more ideas and resources on how to get your child excited for kindergarten, visit 5B45kids.com.

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Kindergarten teacher gives tips on preparing your little one starting school in the fall