School Readiness Tips for 0-5
September 14, 2023
The time you spend with your child, or those in your care, can help their brain grow strong. Even a few minutes count! Our partners at Vroom have created these printable tip card sets that include brain-building activities for children ages 0-5 to support school readiness skills like Literacy, Math, Physical Activity, Science, and Working with Others.
Involve your children in meal planning. Ask them to choose how to organize the meal. Can they do it by color or group favorites? For example, they could ask other children which dish is their favorite. Then help your child draw or write a menu based on everyone’s picks.
Same Letter Sentence
Start this game by choosing a letter. See if you and your child can think of a sentence that uses as many words as possible that begin with that letter. If you chose the letter M you might say, “My mother made meatballs.” What other M words can you both come up with?
Encourage your child to be a picture detective. Look at a picture in a book or magazine. It can even be in a newspaper or in an ad on a bus or train. Talk about the picture together. Can you find certain objects? Ask questions like, “Look at that boy’s face. How do you think he feels?”
Tell your kids about a favorite food. Ask them to name a food they like that’s in the same category, like fruit, but different. Keep count of how many different things you all like in the same category. Play the same game with something else, like clothes!
Sort & Clean
Encourage your kids to sort objects during cleanup. Talk about what you’re doing: “All of the small lids go in the little bowl and the big lids go in the big bowl.” Then mix it up and ask them to put the small objects in the big bowl. You can also sort by shape or color.
One, Two, Three Foods
Pick three food words such as “banana, apple, pear” to make a word pattern. Repeat with your kids three times. Have them pick three food words and make a pattern three times: “fork, spoon, plate.” Talk about what word comes first, second, and third.
At Arm’s Reach
Encourage your kids to move and stretch. Put them on their tummy on a blanket on the floor and place a soft, safe object in front of them saying, “Here’s your soft bear!” Put it down just out of their reach. Talk about their efforts: “You’re working so hard to reach your toy!”
Your children may not be walking or talking yet, but with your help they can definitely boogie. So turn on some music and hold them as you dance around. When you sit down together, shake your arms to the music and see if they can do the same!
Shake, Bang, and Roll
When your child picks up something safe, encourage them to “Shake, Bang, and Roll!” How many different ways do they explore the object? Talk to them about what they’re doing, “You shook the rattle and made a sound.”
Stop and Start the Music
Set your radio to a music station and have your child turn it off and on. Every time they turn it on, start to dance—or move around—and say “on.” When they turn it off, stop moving and say “off.” Soon they will probably say “off” and “on” with you.
Working with Others
Don’t be afraid to babble. When your child starts to make noises, treat it like a real conversation and mimic the sounds right back. See how many times you can go back and forth!
Take a few minutes and look into your child’s eyes. As they look back, smile and talk with them. Do what they do. If they blink, you blink. If they look left, you look left. Let them see your eyes too, and have fun keeping eye contact.