If you have an active preschooler, getting your child ready for kindergarten with workbooks and seatwork can be a challenge. Here are some fun activities and games to help your child learn important kindergarten readiness skills—without sitting down!
Musical Letters Dance
Inspire and entertain the dancer in your child while teaching letter recognition.
- Write the letters of the alphabet on 8 x 5 construction paper and cut them out. Tape them, in random order, on the floor of a room. (Start with 8-10 letters at a time.)
- Create matching 3 x 5 cards with one letter on each card.
- When the music plays, everyone dances around the room.
- When the music stops, hold up a 3 x 5 card with a letter on it. (Make sure it is on the floor, as well.) Your child should find the same letter on the floor that you are holding up on the 3 x 5 card.
This game also works well outside with chalk.
Matchbox Car Counting
Kindergarten readiness skill: Correspondence counting
- Tape the numbers 1–10 onto 10 matchbox cars. Have your child count out loud and put the numbers in order from least to greatest. (Increase numbers when appropriate.)
- Tape letters to the top of matchbox cars. Have your child create simple three-letter words (sounding out the beginning, middle, and end sounds). Start with words that end in the letters “at,” such as bat, cat, sat, mat, rat, pat.
Scavenger Hunt Directions Game
Kindergarten readiness skill: Follow multi-step directions
Learning to follow multi-step directions is an important skill to learn for kindergarten. Help your child learn listening skills by playing direction games. Make it fun with a direction scavenger hunt.
- Hide 5–10 fun objects around the house.
- Give oral 1- to 3-step directions for finding the objects. Start simple with one step and work up to three steps.
Sight Word Target Practice
Kindergarten readiness skill: Recognize sight words
Introduce beginning sight words with some target practice.
- Write sight words on paper plates. Beginning sight words to use: can, see, the, a, we, look, to, me, go, here, I, is, for, it. (Start with two sight words and work up.)
- Line up the plates on the floor, wall or pavement.
- Have children read a word and throw a beanbag at the word they identified.
Kindergarten readiness skill: Fine motor skills
- Pour rice into a deep pan or dish.
- Bury miniature colored dinosaur figures in the rice.
- Have your child pull out the dinosaur figures using a pair of tweezers. (Ask your child to count the figures for cross-curricular practice.)
Final tips on getting your active child ready for kindergarten: Keep learning fun and positive the entire time! If you are able, try incorporating some fine motor skill practice. Holding a pencil and scissors properly is difficult and requires frequent practice. Keep these practice sessions short, but regular.
For more ideas about preparing your child for kindergarten read 5 Tips to Help Your Child Get Ready for Kindergarten
Recommended resources for active learners
Zoo Phonics is a multisensory language arts program that combines movement and learning.
Alphabet Puppets teaches alphabet and phonemic awareness in letter formation in a unique and entertaining format.
Heather Foudy is a certified elementary teacher with over 7 years’ experience as an educator and volunteer in the classroom. She enjoys creating lessons that are meaningful and creative for students. She is currently working for Evan-Moor’s marketing and communications team and enjoys building learning opportunities that are both meaningful and creative for students and teachers alike.