Ready! Set! School! Activities

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How to Use the Activity Pages

Each of the 20 activities on the website features the following:

  • Activity Card PDF: Available in English and Spanish, you can download and print the activity cards with Adobe Reader. If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can download the program for free at this link.
  • Video Trailer: Preview the 6-minute video in 30 seconds.
  • Video (6-minute): View the full-length video that demonstrates the activity in a home.

Friends & Family Activities

Activity 1: I Know Me

Preschool or kindergarten may be the first time children are in a non-family setting. They will need to become comfortable identifying themselves to teachers and friends.

Activity 2: I'm a VIP (Very Important Person)

Children need to know their likes and dislikes. When you let them know that their feelings and abilities are important to you, they become more independent and cooperative, and it is easier for others to work with them.

Activity 3: My Feelings

Appropriately identifying and expressing emotions and feelings helps children get along better with others. Learning the appropriate words to express their feelings and to solve problems is a key to succeeding in kindergarten.

Activity 4: Playtime

Playtime is essential for building social skills, and it is a wonderful time for children to learn how to express themselves, work out problems, make choices, and build self-confidence.

Activity 5: Ready, Set, Go!

As children are involved in deciding where their belongings go, they can find, use, and return items to the proper place so they can find and use them again later. This develops a sense of ownership and responsibility.

Extra Activities

Words & Language Activities

Activity 1: The ABCs

Children are naturally curious about their names and become excited when they can identify letters in their names. Once they know some letters in their names, they begin to find those letters all around them.

Activity 2: Let's Read!

When you point out or model reading skills, children have an opportunity to learn how print works and that it has meaning. Reading aloud to children helps them learn new words and how books work.

Activity 3: Telephone Talk

Children need opportunities to participate in conversations. They learn to take turns as they listen and respond. Communication skills are the foundation for getting along with others.

Activity 4: Rhymes and Songs

Words are made up of sounds. When children become aware of the separate sounds in words and syllables, they are on their way to becoming readers and writers. Reciting and playing with nursery rhymes, finger plays, and songs gives children opportunities to develop this skill.

Activity 5: Scribbles and Letters

Writing develops in stages. First, children use scribbles. Then, as they become aware of letters in their environment, their scribbles will take on letter-like forms. Later, they will begin to insert known letters into their writing. Finally, they will intentionally use letters to represent sounds.

Extra Activities

Numbers & Shapes Activities

Activity 1: 1, 2, 3

Math concepts are used in all areas of learning. The ability to count aloud (rote counting) is different from counting objects. As young children learn to connect a number with the quantity they count, they prepare to add and subtract with meaning.

Activity 2: Everybody Counts

Children learn that there is a relationship between a number name and a quantity as they use math in their everyday lives. As children learn that nearly everything they do involves math, they may gain more confidence in their own ability to use it.

Activity 3: Where Does It Go?

Children learn to look closely at objects and learn the vocabulary to describe them. They use their senses to explore the characteristics or attributes of objects and sort objects into groups based on similarities or differences and to describe the reason for sorting. As children learn to describe their own sorting decisions, they realize that there are many right ways to solve a problem.

Activity 4: The Shape of Things

Often, we begin teaching children about shapes by teaching them the shape name, but they need hands-on experiences with solid shapes (balls, boxes, bottles, cans, party hats) to learn about their physical characteristics. By using materials to build shapes, children learn about these characteristics.

Activity 5: What's the Pattern?

Patterns are made up of sequences of colors, movements, objects, shapes, sizes, or sounds. Patterns are part of children’s everyday life and can be found in furniture, clothing, decorations, and artwork. They also are part of your child’s morning, evening and playtime routines.

Extra Activities

Health & Safety Activities

Activity 1: My Little Muscles

Help your child to develop dexterity by using pencils, crayons, scissors, and play-dough, and playing with objects such as connecting blocks, peg boards, zippers, buttons, stickers, or fruit. Doing this requires using the small muscles in the hands and fingers and develops what is called small motor control and dexterity.

Activity 2: My Big Muscles

Children love to move. Physical development plays an important role in building children’s self-esteem, confidence, fitness, and well-being. Daily physical activity will develop habits that lead to better physical health.

Activity 3: I Can Do It Myself!

Children increase in ability to do things for themselves as they are given opportunities. Celebrate your child’s growing abilities and independence.

Activity 4: You Are What You Eat

Preschoolers have already established preferences for food based on texture, flavor and smell. Their preferences may not necessarily be healthy choices. You can be a model for eating a variety of healthy foods. Eating a variety of healthy foods will help children be more alert and do better in school.

Activity 5: Just In Case

Children see disasters in television and movies. Identifying possible reasons and routes for evacuating a home or apartment helps your child be prepared in case of an emergency.

Extra Activities

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