It seems like everyone has a different opinion on whether a child is ready to start kindergarten. Some are ready at five, while others say six. After thinking about this, I’ve come up with my list of things I think every kid should do before starting kindergarten. And these activities will help make sure your child is doing everything they can to be successful in school.
Go to the zoo
Zoos are great places to take children. They can help teach them about animals and how they live in different environments. And if your zoo has an animal petting area, it can also be a great place for your child to learn about where food comes from.
Your child may not be old enough to appreciate zoos when he or she starts kindergarten, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take him or her anyway. Zoos can help teach children about animals, how they live in different environments and where food comes from (if your zoo has an animal petting area).
The best way to get your child interested in zoos is by visiting them often when he or she is young. The more frequently you go, the more familiar your child will become with the animals and their habitats. Your child will also learn how to behave around animals at an early age — which will make visits less stressful for everyone involved.
When we take our kids out on a Saturday morning, we often visit our local zoo first thing before heading off to other activities. We have a membership so that we don’t have to wait in line for tickets each time we visit — which makes it easier for everyone!
Make a new friend
When your child is in preschool, he or she will play with other children almost every day. This helps him or her get used to the idea of interacting with other kids in an age-appropriate way. But when you send your child off to school for the first time, he or she will be expected to share toys and play nicely with his or her classmates all by himself or herself — without help from Mommy or Daddy. That can be scary!
To help your preschooler build social skills, invite a few kids over for a playdate at home. As they run around playing together, ask them about their days at school, what they like and don’t like about their teachers and friends, and more. Your child will learn that it’s okay to talk about school with you — even if it’s not something they’re used to sharing just yet.
Visit a farm
Kids love animals, and farms are a great place to see them up close. You might even get lucky and spot a cow, horse or other critter that you can pet.
The best part about visiting a farm is that it’s fun for the whole family. You’ll get to explore the animals and talk about how they’re raised, which makes for an interesting conversation with your child afterward.
What’s more, there are plenty of educational resources available online that explain all the ins and outs of farming in simple terms so you can understand it too!
Visiting a farm can be especially beneficial for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Many kids with ASD have difficulty processing sensory information — sights, sounds and smells — which can make them uncomfortable in crowds or loud environments like theme parks. Farms offer a calm environment where kids can explore at their own pace without being overwhelmed by bright lights or loud sounds.
Farms also provide kids with opportunities to practice new skills like talking to strangers and interacting with new people. Kids who struggle socially may find it difficult to strike up conversations with strangers when they’re out in public, but visiting a farm gives them a chance to practice social skills in public.
In these early years, it’s important to let your child explore the world around them as much as possible. This is a time when they are still continuing to grow and develop, and there is much to be learned along the way. These tips will help set your child up for a lifetime of adventure and discovery, so they can take the lessons they learn here on into their future.