Prepare Your Kindergartener For 1st Grade: Summer Learning Games

To a child, the world should be a wonder. This is obvious when they attend school and energetically marvel at all the wonderful things they learn in kindergarten. As they parent, however, you need make sure this learning process continues during their summer vacation.

Here are some learning games you can use with your kindergartener this summer to help them prepare for first grade.

Numerical Foodie

In first grade, most students learn how to add and subtract. In order to add and subtract, however, students must develop numeracy. An easy way to develop your child's sense of numeracy is by having them numerically categorize the foods they eat.

  • Odds and Evens: teach your child to group food items into odds and evens. This builds on their already emerging counting skills and lays the foundation for grouping numbers.

  • Adding by Subtracting: teach your child to add through the power of subtraction. This game is simple, have your child take an item like a pretzel or cheese stick and break the item into parts. As they subtract from the whole, they "add" individual pieces. Your child will love the power of adding by subtracting.

  • Measuring Cups Magic: advanced first grade students begin to learn about fractions. You can introduce your child to fractions through the power of measuring cups. This game requires your child's favorite drink and a measuring cup. Start by pouring 1 cup of the drinking into the measuring cup. Have your child monitor the amount of liquid in the cup as they drink it. This game can magically unlock the mystery of fractions in a fun way.

Scientific Explorer

Children are natural scientists. Unlocking the mysteries of the world can spark a curiosity that kindles a scientific spark that your child will need to succeed in first grade.

  • Magnifying Hunt: one concept commonly taught in first grade are cells. To a kindergartener, these small building blocks of life can be difficult to conceptualize. You can introduce them to concept of taking a closer look at small things with magnifying glass and local park. Challenge your child to find small things in the park and use their magnifying glass to make them bigger. This game can be endlessly entertaining and will help your child understand that small things can be studied more closely to become "bigger".

  • Test Hypotheses: the foundation of science is forming and testing hypotheses. You can teach your kindergarten this powerful concept by having them form hypotheses about simple items at home. For instance, will a stick float? Will a water balloon sink? As they test their hypotheses you can help explain why their hypotheses are true or false.

For more help, contact a school like The Cottage School.