Kindergarten Preparation Activities for Your Incoming Students


Have you noticed that students seem to come to kindergarten with bigger gaps in their readiness skills each year? In some cases, this gap in readiness leads to an increase in undesired behaviors.  In other cases, this gap results in having a kid calling from the bathroom for help with wiping. Having been in these situations before, I wanted to share some kindergarten preparation activities that can help bridge this readiness gap.  

Kindergarten preparation activities

Kindergarten Preparation Activities

One of the most common questions that families ask during the registration process is: “What does my child need to know before starting kindergarten?”. There are many variations of this question, but the idea is the same. Parents and guardians want to make sure that their preschooler is kindergarten-ready, but they’re not exactly sure what that looks like. 

Preparing kindergarten readiness task cards

Here are some examples of kindergarten preparation activities that are most beneficial for incoming students:

Personal Information

One of the most helpful kindergarten readiness skills for students to have before starting school is to recognize their full names in print.  It’s a bonus if they can write their name, but it’s very important for an incoming kindergartener to be able to find their cubby and belongings by recognizing their name. It’s also helpful for them to practice reciting their address and phone number before school starts.

Self-Help Skills

When students are with their families or in a very small preschool or daycare setting, it’s easy for them to get help with simple tasks like opening a lunchbox or zipping a coat.  In a kindergarten setting with 20 other students, it’s important for students to be able to attend to their own needs whenever possible. These are great skills to practice at home before school starts!

Social and Emotional Skills

This is an often-overlooked part of kindergarten preparation.  Incoming kindergarten students need to be able to take turns during games and activities, interact appropriately with others, and speak up when they have a question or when they need help. 

Motor Skills

Strong gross motor skills make it easier for students to safely navigate the school campus, including the playground. It’s equally important for students to have plenty of fine motor practice before starting kindergarten.  Students should practice using a variety of writing utensils and learn how to safely use scissors.

A gumball themed counting activity

Academic Skills

This is the area of kindergarten preparation that most people think of when they hear “kindergarten readiness.”  There are many academic readiness skills that students can practice before starting kindergarten.  This would include counting, number recognition, making patterns, identifying shapes and colors, rhyming, and recognizing letters of the alphabet.  

With all of these important skills to practice before kindergarten, it can be hard to prioritize and communicate these kindergarten preparation ideas to parents.  I have created a resource with a fun format that's easy to share with families during registration, round-up, or camp kindergarten.  Keep reading to find out why these readiness skill cards are so great for helping your incoming students prepare for the school year. 

A variety of task cards on a table

Benefits of Kindergarten Readiness Skill Cards

Benefit #1: They're Unique

One thing that I love about these kindergarten readiness task cards is that they stand out. Compared to a summer packet or readiness checklist, a ring of task cards is less likely to get lost in a stack of papers. You can put the bundle of cards on a binder ring or shower curtain ring so they can easily hang on a hook or magnet. 

Plus, it’s fun for students to flip through the cards and look at the pictures. This gives them an idea of what they’ll be doing in kindergarten! On the same note, it’s helpful for parents and guardians to gauge the skills they need to focus on to help their child get ready for kindergarten.

Get Ready for Kindergarten task cards

Benefit #2: They're Portable

Families are on the go during the summer, so these readiness activities are designed to be easy to take along with them. 

Students can flip through the cards on car rides, while waiting for swim lessons to start, or even as a quiet indoor activity during the heat of the day.

Benefit #3: They're Customizable

One of the best parts of using task cards for summer skill practice is that they are easy to customize. You can include the readiness skills that are prioritized by your state or school district. You could also customize them for individual students based on the results of your readiness screenings. This resource has been designed so that it can be adjusted to fit your kindergarten readiness plans.

Benefit #4: They're Engaging

Finally, these kindergarten preparation activities are engaging for young students. They can flip through the cards and decide which skill they want to practice. 

Rhyming task cards

Many of the academic tasks also come with related hands-on activities. These activity cards can be used for many different hands-on activities. For example, many of the academic card sets can be placed face-down on the table and used as a matching game. 

When students can associate these interesting activities with kindergarten, they will be more excited for school to start!  Check out this video for even more tips for using these kindergarten readiness task cards!

Printable Kindergarten Preparation Activities

All of the task cards pictured in this post (and more!) can be found in one easy-to-download resource.  I have created a set of kindergarten preparation activities that you can provide to families at kindergarten registration.  These engaging activities will get your students excited for a fun year of kindergarten!  Plus, families will feel more prepared in sending their little ones to school in the fall.  

If you would like to take a closer look at everything included in this resource, you can find it in the Teaching Exceptional Kinders shop or on TPT.

Save These Kindergarten Preparation Activity Ideas

If you would like to come back to these tips later, be sure to save this post. Just add the pin below to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest. You’ll be able to quickly find these kindergarten preparation activities when you’re gathering resources and ideas for your incoming kindergarteners.


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