Simple Ways to Take the Stress Out of Kindergarten

9:00 AM

As I enjoy summer activities with my family, a daunting event is looming in the back of my thoughts. A moment of growth, new milestones, and possibilities is getting closer as the days pass. A moment I nervously wait to experience. A moment that signifies a change in who my child will become. A moment when I will have only one child at home. What is this momentous moment?


My son is starting Kindergarten in September. He will be riding the big yellow bus to experience eight hours of adventures in that big brick building filled with children and staff who will be influencing the person he will become. To be honest this idea frightens me. I know his first step onto that magical bus will change the little boy we have raised to this point. We will no longer be the only people he looks to for guidance and directions. There will be bonds of trust built between him and strangers. He will be influenced by the actions and words of other children who I pray have similar family values as ours.

In preparation of the big changes he is going to experience we are creating a mock classroom at our kitchen table.  We follow the class schedule we received during Parent Orientation to do subject themed projects during the day. We have begun our morning as if it were a school morning. My son gets up at 7:00 am. He puts on the clothes he picked out the night before. He then does his morning hygiene routine and makes his bed. We have gone over the ways to get on and off the bus(thankfully he does not have to cross the road).We then begin the "School Day".

Shape Beads
Shape Beads- We do AB patterns by colors and by shapes, ABB and ABC patters are by shapes only.
I have found that it is easier for my son to see a definite end to the original pattern and where he continues the pattern. To accomplish this I set up the original pattern to the left of the tile line and he continues on the right of the tile line.
My son enjoys playing with the beads shapes. When he had completed the patterns I let him string the beads on shoelaces to make necklaces.
The beads were bought from Oriental Trading for $15.00/200 pieces. I divided them into learning kits for 3 kids.

Color wheel

Color Wheel- This color wheel helps my son with color recognition. made the color wheel by tracing a formula cover onto an empty cereal box and cut it out and colored the eight basic colors in wedges. I then colored the ends of the clothespins with coordinating colors and wrote the name of the color in the center of the clothespin.
The pinching motion he uses to open the clothespins help with building strength to hold a pencil while writing.
My son has mastered the color wheel almost two years ago. I am using the wheel so he sees the written name of the color to help with sight words. Plus it boosts his self esteem that he can complete the color wheel without help.

Letter Matching

Letter Matching- The uppercase and lower case letters matching was made to help my son with letter recognition. He seems to know upper case the most.
The ducks were made with the cricket for my baby shower for my daughter. The lower case circles are punched from paint chip samples I used as confetti for a friends wedding.

Magnetic Shapes

Magnetic Shapes- My son loves to fish. I made this activity last winter to get him more interested in learning his shapes.He was really struggling with learning his shapes. The names were just not sticking with him until he started playing this game.
The container is an empty Altoids container. I get at least three containers for free from my mother in law each month. I cut two of the same shapes from felt and hot glued the pieces together with a washer in the middle. I cut a chopstick down to fit in the Altoids container. I wrapped string around the chopstick and hot glued the string to a magnet.

Number Correspondence

Number Correspondence- For kindergarten my son must be able to see the written number and know what it is. He must also need to recognize the number in action.
These foam shapes and numbers were on sale for $0.25 each bag. On each foam hand I used a pen to put dots on them to correspond with the written number.


Color-by-Numbers- This activity works on number and color recognition and putting them into action.
I bought this reuseable eight page booklet two years ago at a garage sale for $0.10. It has color-by-numbers, dot-to-dots, alphabet mazes and number mazes.
My son loves that he can draw in the booklet and then reuse it.

Basic Math

Basic Math- This activity helps my son with number recognition. He has to count the dots on the dice after rolling them then places the same amount of foam shapes under the dice. We then write the numbers on his eraser board to see the numbers written in a math sentence.
I bought the foam dice at the Dollar Tree for a dollar for both.  The foam shapes came in a huge bag of miscellaneous shames from a friend, We bought the eraser board at a discount store. It is nie for traveling because you can put your supplies inside and zip them inside. We use this for appointments a lot.


Shapes- The shapes help with recognition and fine motor skills. I either tell my son which shape I want him to find and thread onto the ribbon or he free plays.
I made the shapes with left over felt. Once the shapes were cut out I put a slit in them for the button to go through. I used left over ribbon and sewed two left over buttons together though the ribbon. For the other end of the ribbon as a stopper I folded a diamond shaped piece of foam and sewed it in place.

Magnet Letters

Magnet Letters- This book helps my son read basic sentences and by seeing the picture he knows what the lat word needs to be. He has to sound out the words to place the correct magnet letters in the boxes. I have to admit this project is a little advanced for him being 5 years old. However he loves this activity.
I found this book at Ollies warehouse which is a discount store. It only cost me $2.00 on sale.

I think the mom in me must know that my child is prepared for what is to come. Kindergarten is a big step. There is no long half day of basically just playing like in Head Start. Kindergarten is more structured, more intense with what needs to be taught and retained. Helping my son now during the summer helps me know I am helping him be able to put his best learning foot forward.
 Warm Wishes to You and Yours


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  1. I think this is awesome! I do not have kids and I probably would not have thought to prepare them for school in this way. You have given me ideas for the future. Great post!

  2. Nice advice. My kid will start going to kindergarten in just a few months. I will follow all your tips. Here are some more tips for you -