Success in Kindergarten

By Shirley Doherty

For many children and parents the beginning of kindergarten is a time of great expectations and hopes, and a little anxiety. Even in families where children have attended preschool, kindergarten is perceived as the beginning of something different - as the first step on a path that, if navigated successfully, can lead to a lifetime of learning. The development of fine motor skills is very important. It is fine motor skills that enable a child to write, color, cut, paste, sort and manipulate. I’m going to name a few ways in which you can help your child to have a jump start on developing these skills over the summer months.

1. Encourage use of Lincoln Logs and Lego building blocks (These are small manipulative toys).

2. Encourage any activity that uses crayons, or pencils (coloring, scribbling, drawing) to emphasize theproper way of holding a pencil or crayon. Examples: Use simple dot to dot books. Get a large paint brush and bucket of water (make patterns or shapes on the sidewalk).

3. Practice cutting with a scissors. If a child cannot hold a scissors correctly, show him how and insist on proper handling each time he uses a scissors.

4. Practice - buttoning, zipping, tying, lacing, and buckling or putting pinch clothes pins on the rim of a coffee can - then taking them off. Help your child by doing it with him/her - NOT FOR HIM/HER.