We spoke to experts and asked for their advice on how you could make your child’s transition from home to school a little easier. Every month from now to September, our early learning and child development educators we’ll share ideas, tips and resources to make sure you and your child feel #ocsbReady for Kindergarten. Here are some ideas to try this month!
Four games to build your child’s vocabulary
Playing simple literacy games is a great way to help your child build their vocabulary and get them ready for Kindergarten. Here are four games from Bilingual Kidspot your family will love. They don’t require any preparation or supplies, just your imagination!
- I spy – The first person thinks of a word and tells the others the first letter. “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with the letter __.” The other players need to guess the word. Whoever wins gets to be the spy in the next round!
- I’m going on a picnic – The first person starts with, “I am going on a picnic, and I am bringing a blanket (or another item).” The following person continues with, “I am going on a picnic, and I am bringing a blanket and some apples. The next person continues with, “I am going on a picnic, and I am bringing a blanket, some apples, and a ball.” And so on until someone can’t remember all of the items.
- Who am I? – An excellent game to get your little one thinking. The first person thinks of a person or animal. The others need to ask questions to guess what the person is thinking. They might ask questions like “How many legs do you have?” or “Can you fly?” Whoever wins gets to think of the next person or animal.
- Word Family Game – A great game to learn about and practice rhyming while helping your child build their vocabulary. One person chooses a word and everyone else needs to write or say as many words as they can that rhyme with that word. If the word is “cat” answers could be: hat, bat, rat, sat etc.
Get outside and play with math!
As the weather warms up and there are more daylight hours to enjoy outdoor spaces, it’s a great time to incorporate math learning with outdoor play. The Erikson Institute has two great ideas to try: obstacle courses and bean bag tosses!
Skills to work on as you get ready for school
- Encourage and celebrate your child’s attempts to write. Giving your child opportunities to practice drawing, using different materials like crayons and markers, making cards and signing their name are all great ways to prepare your little one for writing adventures in Kindergarten.
- Read stories and poems with your child. Listening to stories, poems and rhymes is an important part of your child’s Kindergarten experience! They will have lots of fun using books to discover new information.
- Ask your child questions about what they notice about nature when you’re out for a walk! In the fall, your child will explore natural things in their world. You can ask what they see or hear on walks and trips. Point out the changes that occur like spring changes, plant growth or construction progress in your neighbourhood.
- Encourage your child’s use of imagination through drawing, building, moving to music, and acting out stories. In Kindergarten, your child will have opportunities to create pictures, structures, music, songs and rhymes and engage in dramatic play.
- Give your child the opportunity to exercise their large and small muscles! Running, climbing and playing with a ball are great activities to work on the large muscles. Colouring with crayons, pencils or playing with playdough help develop their small muscles.
We know parents are looking for inspiration to engage their children during this Stay-At-Home order. Here are some really great activities you can do with your child inside or outdoors that are both fun and help your child gear up for school.
- 50 Things To Do with Kids at Home | Fun Indoor Activities for Kids (Mum’s Little Explorers)
- Outdoor play ideas in Ottawa (Parenting in Ottawa)
Welcome packages have been mailed out!
If your child is registered to start Kindergarten this fall, they may have received a welcome package in the mail this week! Share your child’s excitement on social media using the hashtag #ocsbReady!
If you registered your child after the March 18 deadline to receive a welcome package in the mail, do not fret. Once the stay-at-home order is over, we will work with local schools to develop a safe way to get your child the welcome package.
Still time to register for Kindergarten
If you haven’t registered your child for Kindergarten yet, there is still time! We highly recommend you register your child as soon as possible to help us plan for September. This will help us make sure there is space for your child at your local Ottawa Catholic school, and we have a Teacher in place to support your little one’s learning.