Summer Learning at Home for Rising Kindergartners
Help your rising kindergartner prepare for school with these daily learning experiences!
When you include these fun activities in your weekly routine, your child will be getting ready for a successful start!
It's Monday... Let's Talk!
- Tell a story about something you did today (playing outside, grocery shopping, doctor appointment).
- Think of a favorite memory. Tell a story of your memory. Where were you? Who was with you? What did you do?
- Choose a letter sound. Have someone help you make a list of as many words as you can think of with that letter sound. For the letter B, you might have words like Bus, Bat, Ball, and Banana.
- Have someone help you make a list of as many animals as you can think of by category, like farm animals, ocean animals, wild animals, and pets.
- Choose a family member or friend. Tell a story about a favorite memory you have with that person.
- Think of as many words as you can that rhyme with cat (hat, bat, fat, mat, rat, sat) and dog (bog, hog, fog, log). Nonsense words like dat, jat, zat, mog, pog, and wog are okay.
- Choose a letter sound. Have someone help you make a list of as many words as you can think of with that letter sound. For the letter M, you might have words like Mouse, Mom, and Milk.
- Have someone help you make a list of as many foods as you can think of by category, like fruits, vegetables, breakfast foods, and snacks.
- Think of as many words as you can that rhyme with big (dig, fig, rig, pig) and hen (den, Ben, pen, ten). Nonsense words like hig, lig, wen, and gen are okay.
- Choose a favorite toy and tell why that toy is your favorite.
- Think of a favorite outdoor memory. Tell a story of your memory. Where were you? Who was with you? What did you do?
- Play outside together today. Talk about the things you are doing, like run- ning, climbing, sliding, and swinging.
It's Tuesday... It's Reading Madness Day!
- Read a book together. At the end of the story, talk about how the ending could be different. Tell a different ending to the story.
- Read a book together. When you are finished, close the book and talk about what happened in the story.
- Read a book together. Before you read, look at the cover and make predictions about the story. Open the book and retell the story using the pictures.
- Read a book together. Who (or what) are the characters in the story?
- Read a book together. Where does the story take place (the setting of the story)? Read a book together. How are you like a character in the story?
- Read a book together. Talk about the illustrations and the words.
- Read a book together. Identify the author and illustrator of the book. Talk about how an author writes the words and an illustrator creates the pictures.
- Read a book together without reading the words. Use the illustrations to tell the story.
It's Wednesday... Write with Me!
- Draw a picture of a favorite memory. Tell a story about your drawing while an adult writes the words of the story for you.
- “Write the bathroom.” Get some paper and a pencil, crayon, or marker. Copy the names of the products in the bathroom (shampoo, toothpaste, bubble bath).
- Copy words from a favorite book. Draw pictures to match your words.
- Draw a picture of something you did today. Tell a story about your drawing while an adult writes the words of the story for you. Copy some of the words.
- Practice writing your name, using different tools to write— with a pencil, crayon, marker, dry-erase marker, shav- ing cream, finger paint, and paint brush.
- Draw a picture of your family and/or pets. Label each person/animal with their name.
- Practice writing your name and phone number, using different tools to write— with a pencil, crayon, marker, dry- erase marker, shaving cream, finger paint, and paint brush.
- Help write a grocery list for grocery shopping this week. Use a piece of paper and a writing tool like a pencil, pen, marker, or crayon.
- “Write the kitchen.” Get some paper and a pencil, crayon, or marker. Copy the names of the products in the cabi- net/pantry (Froot Loops, Goldfish, etc.)
It's Thursday... Make it a Math Day!
- Count out loud as high as you can (one, two, three…). Keep practicing to count higher each time.
- Count all of the shoes in your house. Count all of the socks in your house. Do you have more shoes or socks? Look around your house for objects in the shape of a circle. How many circles can you find?
- Count up to 20, and then count back down to 0. Write or copy numbers from 0 to 20.
- Look around your house for objects the shape of a square. How many squares can you find? Sort a handful of coins into pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Count each set of coins.
- Write how many you have of each coin.
- Measure distance using footsteps. Count how many steps it takes to walk from one place to another (down the hall, across the kitchen, from the kitchen to the front door).
- Look around your house for objects in the shape of a triangle. How many triangles can you find?
- Count all of the windows in your house. Count all of the doors in your house. Do you have more doors or windows?
- Make a meal together. Talk about the steps (what comes first, next, last) and/or measure out the ingredients together.
It's Friday... Hooray for Sensory Science Day!
- Take a walk outside. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds. Talk about what you hear. Can you identify the things you hear?
- Choose a snack with colorful foods like cereal, crackers, fruit, or fruit snacks. Sort the snack by colors. Count how many you have of each color.
- Draw on the sidewalk using sidewalk chalk or a cup of water and a paintbrush. Draw a picture or write letters or words. Practice writing your name.
- Fill a large container with water. Add toys that float like boats and toy ducks. Blow the toys across the water. You can blow the toys with a straw. Talk about what is happening.
- Make “oobleck” by mixing 1/2 cup of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water. Oobleck is both liquid and solid and oozes through your fingers. Have fun!
- Make a toy washing station outside. Fill a large bowl with water and dish soap or bubble bath. Use a washcloth or sponge to wash small toys. Lay them outside to dry.
- Take some ice cubes outside. How long does it take the ice to melt? Try putting some ice cubes in the shade and some in the sun. What do you notice? Talk about your observations.
- Take a walk outside. Find things you can touch (tree bark, sticks, grass, rocks, sidewalk) and use words like soft, hard, bumpy, rough, and prickly to describe the items.
- Make “popsicle paint.” In small containers, freeze water with a handle (craft stick, clothes pin, spoon, fork) in the middle. Add food coloring if you like. Once frozen, take the popsicles outside to “paint” on the sidewalk.
- Fill a large bowl with water. Use measuring cups, spoons, and small containers to fill and pour. Talk about empty and full.
- Taste something new during mealtime today. Taste a food and describe how that food tastes and feels, using words like sweet, salty, sour, delicious, and crunchy. Do you like it?
- Play a taste testing game during mealtime. Taste a food and describe how that food tastes and feels, using words like sweet, salty, sour, delicious, and crunchy.
- Fill a large bowl with rice. Add measuring cups and spoons to fill and pour. Talk about more and less.
Anytime... Get Ready for a Great School Year!
- Begin a “getting ready for school” routine with a specific bedtime. At bedtime, talk about the events of your day and feelings about your day and/or read a book together.
- Do a chore together (sweep the floor, wash the car, sort and fold the laundry, clean up toys).
- Talk about what Kindergarten might look like. What kind of things could you see in your classroom?
- Talk about the activities you might do in Kindergarten like eat lunch, play on the playground, visit media center, read, and write.
- Talk about ways to take care of yourself and practice washing hands, brushing teeth, and washing your face. Use a mirror to help.
- Talk about rules. Think about family rules you have and why those rules are important. Do you think there will be school/Kindergarten rules?
- Talk about your day and share feelings about starting school. Use feeling words. Talk about what to do if you feel excited, scared, or worried.
- During your bedtime routine, talk about your feelings about Kindergarten using feeling words. Talk about what to do if you feel worried or scared.
- Talk about all the things you expect to learn in Kindergarten this school year. Are you excited?
12 More Ways to Support School-Readiness for Young Learners
A child’s early years lay the foundation for all that is to come. Researchers say that the human brain develops the vast majority of its neurons, and is at its most receptive to learning, between birth and age three. Here are a few ideas for helping your young learner thrive today and prepare for school in the future.
- 1-2-3, count with me. Take a walk or look out the window and count what you see! How many trees, birds, butterflies, and flowers can you see? As you count together and talk about what you see, use color
- Pictures from shapes. Together, use shapes cut from colored paper or draw pic- tures with Try a square and a triangle for a house, a circle and a triangle for ice cream, and a rectangle and some circles for a vehicle.
- Snack Put a couple of different kinds of snacks onto a plate. Encourage your child to sort like items together. This might be putting salty snacks together and sweet snacks together, or separating all of the pretzels from the Goldfish. Sortcolored cereal by color, size, or shape. Talk about how the snacks are the same and different.
- Touch and count lunch. Ask your child to touch and count or slide and count the items on his or her
- Signs of the Take a walk or look outside to identify some signs of the season. Look for birds, butterflies, flowers, bees and even pollen. Talk about weather like rain, wind, and warm and cool temperatures. As the sea- son begins to change, ask your child what changes he or she sees and feels outdoors.
- Explore your fruits and vegetables. When eating together, talk about fruits and vegetables on your child’s Talk with your child about color, size, shape, texture, seeds, and taste! Can they think of other things with the same color or shape? Talk about how fruits and vegetables grow.
- Write… with anything! Allow your child to use new materials for writing… pencils, markers, crayons, chalk, paint, and even shaving cream! Let your child write with a stick in the sandbox or The possibilities are endless!
- Make your own dough! Mix equal parts of flour and water together in a With the dough, allow your child to make letters, numbers, shapes, and items to count. Rolling and squeezing the dough will build fine motor muscles.
- Make sensory Use any type of gel and sealable bags to create sensory bags. Make sure you double bag and tape the seal. Allow your child to squeeze it, squish it and even “write” in it by pressing down and moving his or her finger. Talk about how it feels!
- Move like an animal! Talk about animals and how they Together, move like your favorite animals… hop like rabbits, slither like snakes, scuttle sideways like crabs, gallop like horses gallop. So many options to explore!
- Balance Encourage children to practice balancing. You might use the edge of a rug like a tight rope or draw a line of chalk on the sidewalk. Ask your child to practice standing on one foot or walking with a book or stuffed animal on his or her head without letting it fall. Body awareness is a skill we all have to learn.
- Read, read and read Repeated reading is very important for our youngest learners. As adults, we might be tired of reading the same book repeatedly, but children love to read familiar books. They know what to expect, become aware of new details on the pages, and begin to truly notice the words on the page and start to practice tracking the words with their fingers. So, sit down together, and read that familiar book over and over! Memoriza- tion of familiar books is a step toward reading!
More tips and resources...
Find more tips and resources on the GCPS website and our Pinterest Early Learning board, including:
- Age-specific resources from Gwinnett Building Babies' Brains to support learning for young children from birth to age 5. Check out information about child development and brain science.
- Information on GCPS’ Play 2 Learn program (English and Spanish) that supports families and their chil- dren as they learn through play together, with home learning activities in English and Spanish with our Play 2 Learn @ Home initiative;
- Resources on GCPS’ services for young children with special needs.
- Other resources from Vroom, PBS Kids, and Atlanta Speech School.