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5 activities to get active boys and girls ready for kindergarten

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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

Kindergarten readiness skill: Letter recognition 

Inspire and entertain the dancer in your child while teaching letter recognition.

  1. 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.)
  2. Create matching 3 x 5 cards with one letter on each card.
  3. When the music plays, everyone dances around the room.
  4. 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 

Start teaching one-to-one correspondence counting with objects your child enjoys.

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.

  1. Hide 5–10 fun objects around the house.
  2. 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.

  1. 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.)
  2. Line up the plates on the floor, wall or pavement.
  3. Have children read a word and throw a beanbag at the word they identified.

Dinosaur Dig

Kindergarten readiness skill: Fine motor skills

Discover you inner paleontologist with this fine motor skills game.

  1. Pour rice into a deep pan or dish.
  2. Bury miniature colored dinosaur figures in the rice.
  3. 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.

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One Comment

  1. I like your idea of the sight word paper plates and I’m going to give it a try in the classroom.

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