Summer provides perfect prep time for kindergartners

First Things First offers advise on how to prepare children for kindergarten. (Submitted photo)

Jessica Heartz, who teaches at Ellsworth Elementary School in San Tan Valley, knows that beginning kindergarten is an exciting time for students and parents.

She also knows “there is a wide range of academic and social emotional levels we see when students enter kindergarten.”

Ms. Heartz recommends introduction to concepts such as counting objects to 10 using one-to-one correspondence, naming shapes and colors, discussing feelings, taking turns and sharing.

First Things First, a voter-created organization, also recommends parents read with their children at least 20 minutes a day, using books that repeat words and involve activities like counting, identifying colors, objects or letters.

In addition, parents should provide children safe writing tools to play with, like crayons, chalk or markers and blank paper and have them to talk about their drawings.

Besides, the classroom-type activities, “teach your child how to use the bathroom by themselves, to wash their hands after going to the bathroom and before eating, to blow their nose and sneeze into their elbow,” according to First Things First.

Parents should also talk to their children about the first day of school, choose what to wear the night before and provide them a healthy breakfast, according to First Things First.

“Before the first day, talk with your child about what to expect during the school day and types of after-school activities they may be involved in. The more details kids know, the less anxious they will feel,” First Things First officials stated in a release.

First Things First is a voter-created, statewide organization that funds early education and health programs to help children succeed once they enter kindergarten. Decisions about how those funds are spent are made by local councils staffed by community volunteers, the release stated.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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