At Growing Kids Learning Centers, we’ve talked a lot about some of the essential milestones that preschoolers should strive to meet before kindergarten. However, we know that this can be a bit intimidating for some parents. Two things that our daycare center commonly hears from parents are how can we best support our child be ready for kindergarten? and is there anything that we can do at home to help?

We’ve compiled some activities that promote kindergarten readiness, while also being developmentally appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers to try. Try these activities at home with your young one, and enroll your child with our Northern Indiana daycare today.

Flyswatter Math

Materials Needed: Poster or whiteboard, marker, flyswatter(s)

Skills Addressed: Number identification

Write the numbers 1-10 onto a poster or whiteboard. To start, you might want to practice by writing them all in order, and in a line that can be read (from left to right). Say the numbers in order first, having your child practice hitting them with a flyswatter.

When they’ve eventually mastered this skill, write the numbers in random order, all over the poster or whiteboard. Call out numbers in an equally random order, and have your child hit the number when they recognize it. Eventually, your preschooler could race against you or another preschooler — though this will require some coaching and conversation about winning and losing and being a good sport. If your child’s not ready for that last step, that’s OK too!

Flyswatter Math can also be great later on for mastering math facts (such as saying “2×3” and kids hitting the correct answer), as well as identifying letters.

Follow the Leader

Materials Needed: No materials, but this game works best with at least 3 people

Skills Addressed: Social skills, taking turns, verbalizing commands

You’ve probably played this game when you were a kid, and while it might seem boring for older kids, it’s an excellent opportunity for social practice for the littlest ones. Start out by being the leader and modeling for younger kids, moving all around and making new commands and actions. Hopping, jumping, skipping, crawling, crab-walking — the sky’s the limit!

Eventually, begin to model taking turns by choosing a new person to be the leader. Talk about playing fair and choosing someone who hasn’t had a chance to lead yet. Additionally, play around with verbalizing commands as well as having “silent round” — both are great for kids to work on their listening and copying skills. Does your younger one need some work on their manners? Make a new rule that all the commands from the leader need to have “please” first, like “please start hopping.”

Lemonade Stand

Materials Needed: Lemonade mix, smaller pitcher/cups, poster board, markers or crayons

Skills Addressed: Fine motor skills, asking questions, verbal communication and listening skills

Help your young one make a pitcher of lemonade for a good ol’ fashioned lemonade stand! Practicing pouring is a great way to work on fine motor skills, and stirring can help with both fine and gross motor skills. Draw bubble letters for your child to color in (or have them write if they’re just starting out), or draw the bubble letters with pencil for kiddos to trace over with marker — all more examples of fine motor skill development. Social skills will be addressed when kids start interacting with customers. This is a good time to talk about hygiene too — have kids sanitize their hands after serving someone lemonade or touching their faces

You and your young one will love getting to connect through these educational activities, and you’ll also love watching them continue to grow. At our Northern Indiana daycare center, your child will consistently practice all of the things that help prepare them for kindergarten and beyond — enroll at one of our locations today!