GR4K’s Daily Kindergarten Readiness Tips:

Today’s GR4K Kindergarten Readiness Tip is:

10/22/2018: Look for 5 of different things today. Count and label them as “5 ___”.

Here’s what that could look like:

  • look for signs of fall and find 5 orange leaves, 5 acorns, 5 sticks
  • sort laundry together and find 5  socks, 5 shirts, 5 towels
  • when eating cereal for breakfast find 5 of each kind you have, then compare them for size, shape,and color. If you have oatmeal, take out 5 flakes and add them to the comparison.

10/21/2018: Family Focus Day! Read a book together as a family. Focus on building vocabulary from the pictures.

10/20/2018: Family Focus Day! Take a family bike ride. Don’t forget water and a snack.

10/19/2018: Go to the library and get new books for the weekend! Look for pumpkin books!

10/18/2018: Look for squares and name them with your child. How many can you find in just your kitchen?

10/17/2018: Read a book with your child today and talk about what the characters are thinking or feeling.

10/16/2018: Look for 3 of different things today. Count them and label them as “3 ___”.

10/15/2018: Look for triangles today. Label them as triangles for your child. “That sign is a triangle shape.”

10/14/2018: Family Focus Day! Read a book together as a family and focus on what the characters do in the story. Read through the book first to enjoy the story. Now go back and look at the pictures; find the character you are going to follow through the story. What are they doing on the first page? Now, move to the second page and so on. When you read  this story tomorrow (Yes, tomorrow. Reading the same story over and over is important to your child’s future reading comprehension.), focus on another character.

10/13/2018: Family Focus Day! Go for a walk together and look for signs of Fall!

 Here’s what that could look like:

  • Start in your own yard! Look down, look out, look up! What do you see?
  • Move down the street and repeat…
  • Move to the park and repeat…

10/12/2018: Look for circles. Name them as circles.

10/11/2018: Look for 4 of different things today. Count them.

10/10/2018: Point out labels on boxes and familiar signs to your child.

10/9/2018: Today, we’re working on social skills and our skill is: taking turns, politely and independently (eventually).

So what does this look like?

  • Try out story hour at your local library. They will often let parents sit in the circle on the floor with their children and that give you excellent access to their ear to whisper hints and encouragement.
  • A playground with a teeter totter and one other child is such a good place to work on this! Both children are engaged and using the teeter totter, but they “take turns” being up or down. This is a verbal exercise for parents, “now it’s YOUR TURN to be up, now its MARC’S TURN to be up”. Very un-threatening.
  • Play a simple board game as a family.
  • Be patient. Sharing is not easy. Many adults still can’t share politely.

10/8/2018: Set up a reading shelf or bookcase for your child to keep their books on. Teach your child to put books away when finished with them.

10/7/2018: Family Focus Day! Read a book together as a family and focus on the way the characters act! How do they treat each other? Find a picture that shows how a character acts and talk about it with your child.

10/6/2018: Family Focus Day! Make breakfast together as a family!

Clean-up is a full family activity, too! Here’s what that looks like:

  • Take some time to think of all the tasks that need to be done to cleanup the kitchen after making a special weekend breakfast together. (This is a before the event activity, so spend a little time and think this one out carefully.)
  • Once you have the tasks figured out, write each one on a separate card.
  • Find a nice container for the task cards so you can use them each time you make a special family meal together.
  • Everyone picks out a card and that is the task they are accountable for before anything else happens.
  • Start building the idea that prep work and clean-up are all part of eating a meal. No one’s food appears on the table by magic! (If you have trouble getting this idea across in your family, read “The Little Red Hen” together and talk about who the hen is in your family and what the family can do about that.)

10/5/2018: Stop at the library and pick up new books for the weekend!

10/4/2018: Review the numbers 1, 2, and 3 from last month. Find lots of things to count today!

10/3/2018: Find orange things and name them as orange ___.

10/2/2018: Show your child a circle. Look for circles all day today and name them as circles.

10/1/2018: Follow print from left to right when reading to your child today.

So what does this look like?

  • run your finger under the words when you read one page out of each book
  • track the last line on the left hand page to the first word on the right hand page with your finger for one page in each book, also
  • don’t draw attention to doing it, you’re just laying the groundwork for later reading instruction

9/30/2018: Family Focus Day! Read a book together as a family and focus on the setting!

9/29/2018: Family Focus Day! Ride bicycles together. Take apples and nuts for snack. Look for squirrels carrying nuts in their mouths!

9/28/2018: Show your child that paper money and coins are different.

So what does this look like?

  • What’s in your pocket or change purse? Show it to your child, let them examine the coins. Ask them what they observe or see when looking at them. Take out a paper bill and add that to the money pile. Ask your child what’s different about the bill.
  • Maybe they would like to sort the different kinds of money some way: paper/coins, round/rectangle, brown/silver/green.
  • When you get change at the store, show it to your child. ask them what they notice about the change. That’s it for now, just noticing that not all money is the same.

9/27/2018: Work with numbers 1-3. Look for things that are green and name them.

So what does this look like?

  • Start with breakfast: Can you combine numbers 1-3 and green? Can you have 2 pieces of green apple or kiwi fruit for breakfast? Pick 3 green Fruit Loops out of the box? You could have green eggs and ham in September!
  • Go for a walk: Grass, leaves, evergreens, houses, cars – all green
  • Count clouds that look like dogs while lying on the grass or a blanket or a slide – 1, 2, 3

9/26/2018: Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday!

So what does this look like?

  • cut open an apple and look carefully at all the different parts
  • wear a saucepan on your head and walk around barefoot
  • make an apple recipe and share with someone you love

9/25/2018: Find 1, 2, or 3 of lots of things around the house. Count them all!

So what does this look like?

  • getting dressed – pick from 1, 2, or 3 shirts if you have time this morning
  • how many toothbrushes in your bathroom?
  • How many cereal bowls at breakfast? bananas? Waffles? Count 1, 2, or 3!
  • How many cars in your driveway or parking spot?
  • How many backpacks by the door? Books before bed? Apples for snack?

9/24/2018: Practice turning the pages of a book one page at a time, back to front.

So, why is this helpful? Something as simple as turning pages one at a time while you are reading shows your child that when you read, you are careful when you turn the pages showing respect for the book, that you read every page because you find value on every page of the story, and that the story flows front to back in the book. Everything you do as a parent is important to your child just because it’s you doing it!

Keep looking for those signs of Fall!

9/23/2018: Family Focus Day! Read a book together as a family and focus on the action!

9/22/2018: Family Focus Day!

Take a family walk to look for signs of Fall arriving tonight!

So what does this look like?

  • squirrels with food in their mouths running back to their nests
  • leaves starting to change color
  • changes in the sky color and clouds
  • high school football games
  • pumpkins on porches or balconies
  • go pick apples if you have time today!


9/21/2018: Work with the number 3. Show your child what it looks like, say its name, show your child 3 of something,ask them to do the same.

So what does this look like?

  • take 3 cheerios out of the box at breakfast
  • teach your child to fold 3 washcloths and put them away
  • have your child pick up 3 toys at a time for clean-up
  • cut lunch time sandwiches in 3 pieces
  • put 3 meatballs on a plate of spaghetti for dinner

9/20/2018: Find one or two of lots of things around the house. Count each time.

So what does this look like?

  1. Breakfast: 2 boxes of cereal? 2 cheerios? 2 chairs? 1 cup of coffee? The best examples are the simplest, every day things that are part of your life routine.36496129 - action portrait of shouting african kids playing on swing in neighborhood.out of focus houses in background.
  2. Getting dressed for the day: 1 toothbrush? 1 hairbrush or comb? 2 hair ties? 1 sink, 1 bathtub, 1 shower, 2 faucets? 1 dresser or closet? 2 shirts to choose from? you can count forever!
  3. At the park? In the car? Preschool drop off? so many places and so many  ideas. Encourage your child to count things, also. If the items are small, have them touch each one as they count.

9/19/2018: Look at and name book covers. Look for and name “yellow things”

So what does this look like?

1. When you settle down to read with your child, point to the book’s cover and say “this is the book cover”. Then point to the title and say, “this is the title, the title of this book is _______. The title is on the book cover.” That’s it! Just draw attention to the book cover. We’ll go deeper into the cover later on this year.

2. 20170603_143439Work on yellow today! Try and have a yellow food or encourage your child to wear yellow clothes, you could wear yellow, also. Point out yellow cars or flowers or leaves. There are yellow apples and squash and bananas at the  grocery. Yellow lines in the road, yellow traffic lights, yellow warning signs. Point out the yellow school zone signs and tell your child they help keep children safe while walking to school. Look for a big, yellow school bus!



9/18/2018: Work with the numbers 1 and 2. Show how they look, say their name, say “show me 2 (or 1) ___”

So what does this look like?

1. Download and print the number cards under resources if you don’t have a set of cards to work with at your home. Here’s the link:

2. Grab a couple pairs of different items from around the house: 2 spoons, 2 shoes, 2 books, 2 Barbie shoes, 2 action figures, whatever you find will work. Picture3

3. First, do this like an experienced early childhood teacher and give your child a few minutes to play with the stuff you collected. They want to play with the math materials because that is what kids do; the trick is in figuring out the sweet spot of when they are ready to stop playing and start learning. One clue is they will start to line things up  or sort it somehow. If you don’t see any interest in moving on to work time, give them a 2 minute warning and then stick to it.

4. Show your child a number card, say the name of the number, ask your child to show you that number of one of the items you collected. Change numbers or items and do it again. Continue with this activity for about 3 minutes. Clean up and move on!

9/17/2018: Use words to express thoughts, ideas, feelings. Encourage your child to do it, too.

So what does this look like?

  1. Talk about everything! Simple directions, like: “It’s time to go potty.” Can be turned into a word experience by naming things involved in using the bathroom. “Time to go potty, let’s head down the hall towards the bathroom.” “First we pull the step stool over to the toilet. Then we lift the lid…” Talk about washing hands, using soap, rinsing, faucet, sink, drain, towel color, etc. Remember, your child needs to hear around 8,000 words per day to be developing along expected guidelines for language readiness in kindergarten. 8756601_s
  2.  At breakfast, talk about what they are eating. Are they eating a scrambled egg? Talk about eggs, how we get them from hens, how hens live on farms, how we buy eggs in boxes at  the store. Are they eating a pancake? Talk about how it’s round, or brown, or hot, or “swimming in syrup” – how can a pancake swim? Does your child like to swim? What would it be like to swim in syrup? Where do they like to swim? Beach? Pool? What are some swim safety rules to always remember? Why do we have lifeguards? Does a pancake need a lifeguard if it is swimming in syrup?
  3. When something happens that makes your child happy, talk about it. How does it feel to be happy? What makes us happy? How can they make someone else happy? We often focus on what makes a child feel sad or bad, but seldom focus in on what makes them feel wonderful inside. Let’s change that! How many of those 8,000 words a day can be happy ones?