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15 Tips to Help Your Child Get Ready for School

Children turning five on or before December 31, 2022 are now eligible to register for Kindergarten 2022/23! If you haven't already registered your child, you can find all of the schools near you on the Alberta Education website.  

Children do not need to know how to read, write, or speak English before they start Kindergarten. Families can use these 15 tips to prepare for Kindergarten over the summer. 

1. Start with a Kindergarten Book Bag

Kindergarten Book Bags are a great way for children entering Kindergarten in Fall 2022 and their caregivers to get ready for school. Visit your nearest Library location (excluding Memorial Park, Rocky Ridge, and Sage Hill) to pick up a book bag with Library books, Kindergarten tips, and activities.  There are no late fees at the Library, and programs are free for members. 

2. Explore the Digital Library

The Digital Library has lots of resources to help your child start their reading journey. Listen and read along with animated storybooks with TumbleBook Library, read eBooks on demand in 13 different languages with AV2 World Languages for Kids, play games and watch science videos with National Geographic for Kids, and so much more. Access to all of these digital resources are free with your free Library card.  

3. Grow their literacy skills

Reading together every day is a great way to prioritize one-on-one time with your child and make reading a special time. Read books, snuggle, and sing together as much as you can.  

4. Practise language everywhere

Point out the words, numbers, and letters in the world around you, wherever you are — at the bus stop, in a store, or in the kitchen. 

5. Work on language skills

Speak, sing, read, and play together in your home language. Learning the flow and rules of any language will help your child learn English once they start school.  

6. Make art and draw often

Use pencils for writing and practise cutting with child-safe scissors. This is a great way to develop the fine motor skills necessary for writing, even if your child can’t write letters on their own yet.  

7. Work on name recognition

Help your child recognize their name in print. Use play-dough or other child-safe materials to create the letters of their name to make learning the way their name looks more tactile and fun.  

8. Play!

Visit your school’s playground this summer to become familiar with the school grounds and entrances. 

9. Help your child practise cleaning up after themselves

Encourage your child to be a big helper at home by putting toys away and doing other simple tasks. 

10. Let them dress themselves

Let your child practise dressing themselves, including putting on outdoor clothing. Shoes with Velcro are a great beginner shoe. 

11. Develop fine motor skills

Let your child practise opening and closing snack containers and using a water bottle. 

12. Encourage washroom independence

Encourage your child to go to the bathroom independently and wash their hands on their own. 

13. Make a bedtime routine

Practise going to bed early enough to get the recommended nine to eleven hours of sleep each night. Develop a routine of waking up with enough time to get ready for and travel to school on time.  

14. Balance screen time

Allow twice as much time for free indoor and outdoor play as time spent on screens. 

15. Communicate openly 

Talk about your child’s feelings about starting school. Assure them that it is normal to feel nervous and excited at the same time. Kindergarten is a big change for the whole family!

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