Parents get so caught up in making sure that their kids have all of the academic skills they need for Kindergarten that they sometimes forget all about independent self help skills.
Developing independent skills at home can be fun and easy and provide your child with the confidence she needs to be successful in school!
Thanks to My Cute Graphics for use of this School Desk graphic!
Independent skills are the skills that kids need to take care of themselves. One of the biggest differences between preschool and Kindergarten is the expectations the students have.
There is usually only one teacher to meet the needs of everyone in the class so helping yourself and being able to successfully navigate the Kindergarten room is extremely important. Learning how to tie your shoes is one that parents remember to teach, but here are three more you may not even realize that kids need to learn!
1. Putting Away Your Belongings and Turning in Work to the Teacher
Preschool teachers start to develop this skill in school, but Kindergarten teachers require it. Kids need to be able to unpack their backpacks, turn in important papers and lunch money, and keep track of their supplies. No one expects them to walk in the door on the first day and do this perfectly, but kids who can already do similar things at home are a lot more successful and feel a lot more comfortable in Kindegarten.
2. Putting On and Off and Zippering and Buttoning Your Coat
Think of how difficult it is to get out the door with your own children sometimes and imagine how much time would be taken up in a classroom if the teacher had to help everyone get their coats on and off! Helping to teach your student how to dress and undress themselves helps them feel confident in the classroom and gives them more time to explore and learn in the classroom.
3. Opening All of the Items in Your Lunchbox
Being able to get your own food open is so important! Lunch time is limited and even if the teacher or lunch aide is going around to help each child it may take awhile. The last thing you want is a hungry child at school!
Making sure they know how to open their water bottle or juice box and tear, unsnap, unzip all of the containers inside makes the day go much more smoothly. Try out new items at home first and don’t send them in until you know your child can open them alone.
Set Up an Obstacle Course to Develop Kindergarten Independent Skills
So what is the best way to develop the independent skills kids needs for Kindergarten? By practicing them in a fun way of course!
A super fun way to practice is to set up an obstacle course for you child either inside or outside. Have a bunch of stations they have to complete as they go through the course. They can open up a water bottle, put a homework folder in a certain spot, put on a jacket, etc. Invite friends over to make it even more fun! Making independent skills fun and engaging for kids is a great way to get them excited about school.
Thank you to My Cute Graphics for the use of this superhero kids graphic.
Check out the Kindergarten readiness activities shared by the other Get Ready for K through PLAY! hosts
Everyday Ways to Foster Independence from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Practicing Independence Skills from Mess for Less
Transition Time: Teaching Kids to Move From One Activity to Another from Toddler Approved
Teaching Kids Independence: Learning How to Ask for and Offer Help from Mama Smiles
Getting Out the Door: Helping Develop Independence Rainy Day Mum
Next week we’ll all be back sharing activities to develop the math skills needed for Kindergarten!
In the meantime be sure to follow our Get Ready for K Through PLAY! Pinterest Board for a huge collection of Kindergarten readiness activities!