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10 Ways to Get Your Kid (And You) Ready For Kindergarten

10 Ways to Get Your Kid (And You) Ready For Kindergarten

It won’t be long until I experience the bittersweet moment of dropping my child off for his first day of kindergarten. To be honest, I’ve been more than a bit of a wreck about it. So, I’ve done what most nervous mothers do, I asked my mother. I also asked my sister, two of my best friends, and a lovely woman from my book club.

How do I make sure my kid is ready for kindergarten? How do I make sure that I’m ready for kindergarten? Here are 10 tips that I have managed to scrape together from the great advice that I received.

1. Take a Trial Run of The Trips to And From School

Kids become anxious and even irritable when they don’t know what to expect. This is especially true when they are experiencing something entirely new. A few days before school starts, take a dry run. Walk or drive to the bus stop or to the school, whichever will be your normal routine. Be sure to drive the following points home:

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  • An adult will be there to drop them off and pick them up.
  • Somebody at school will help them to find their bus at the end of the day.
  • The importance of being still and quiet on the bus.

2. Teach Your Child Their Teacher’s Name

Your kid will feel more relaxed and is more likely to handle meeting their teacher with confidence if they know their teacher’s name ahead of time. Once you know the teacher’s name, help your child to memorize it. If you can find a picture on the school website, that can also help your kid feel better about getting to know them.

3. Connect With The School And Teacher on Social Media

Your school might have pages available on social media for connecting with teachers, administrators, support staff, and other parents. Find out if this is true, and join up. It’s a great way to reach out to other parents and to the school. In some cases, it might be a way to keep up with announcements.

4. Look Into Your Car-seat Situation

This is a great time to reconsider your car seat. First of all, if you aren’t using one, you should be. Even if the law doesn’t require it, kindergarteners should be secured in a car seat or a booster seat depending on their size. You should also check to be sure that your car seat has not expired, and that there are no recalls. Other tips for buying a child safety seat include:

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  • Buy only new car seats.
  • Have a car seat technician inspect your car seat and installation.
  • Buckle kids in the back seats only.

5. Encourage The Development of Motor Skills

Every school has different requirements when it comes to readiness and the development of motor skills. So, I won’t go into the exact details of that. However, I cannot empathize the importance of working on both fine and gross motor skills with your child. Here are some things you can do to help your child develop fine motor skills:

  • Making snakes, balls, or just squeezing play doh
  • Tearing paper into small pieces
  • Fastening, buttons, snaps, and zippers
  • Putting coins into a piggy bank
  • Cutting paper with scissors
  • Coloring, drawing, and tracing

Now for gross motor skills:

  • Climbing on playground equipment
  • Playing hopscotch
  • Jumping rope
  • Playing soccer
  • Jumping, hopping, skipping, and galloping

6. Teach Them Basic Manners And Age Appropriate Consideration For Others

Teach your children to say please and thank you. Teach them how to wait their turn. Show them by example how to apologize when they have hurt someone’s feeling. It’s not enough to simply know the actions behind good manners, teach them why these things are important as well.

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Your child’s teacher will thank you. Their friends will thank you. Other parents will thank you. The average four or five-year-old is mature enough to understand manners and consideration when presented in an age appropriate way.

7. Encourage Independence

Imagine being a teacher in charge of herding twenty to thirty-five children and too, six-year-olds. Now imagine if none of them could manage buttoning or zipping their clothing. Imagine having to supervise all of the students in your classroom while helping one of your students with basic tasks such as finding a folder in their desk or using the restroom. Finally, imagine trying to hold class when every student was coming to you to manage the tiniest of conflicts and frustrations.

You’d never get anything done. Please do what you can to teach your child basic self-care, and age-appropriate problem-solving skills. Then, when they really do need help, teach them to be patient while they wait for that help.

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8. Make Sure Your Child is up to Date on Immunizations

Be proactive. You don’t want to be the parent who receives notices that their child will be excluded from school because they are missing an important shot. Your doctor may have seen hundreds of kids for their school physicals. Take the time to ask them if your child needs any shots before they start kindergarten. As an extra precaution, get a copy of your child’s shot records to keep at home or in a safe deposit box.

9. Let Your Kid Take You Shopping

Do you remember when you went school supply shopping and picked out all of your folders, pencils, crayons, binders, and other items? Unfortunately, most school supply lists are so detailed that kids no longer have those choices. School clothing choices are often limited as well, even at public schools. This can certainly take the fun out of getting ready to start school.

Because of this, it is important to brighten things up by letting your child take the lead wherever they can. Let them take you shopping, and give them leeway to pick out their lunch box, socks, and any other small items that will make them feel as if they have at least some say in the back to school experience.

10. Make a Plan For Lunch or Snacks

Even if kindergarten only lasts half of the day, your child will probably eat at least a snack. They may even stay long enough for lunch. This can be more complicated than you think. Some schools require that you deposit money into an online account. Others sell lunch tickets or punch cards. It is unlikely that your child will be expected to carry his or her own money. Know what the expectations are, so that your child is prepared on the first day.

This is a nerve-wracking time for both you and your child.  Take deep breaths, and remember that this is a good thing. Before you know it, this will just be a wonderful memory you enjoy while preparing to send your beloved child off to college.

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Published on September 4, 2018

19 Youtube Children’s Videos That Will Help Make Your Kid Smarter

19 Youtube Children’s Videos That Will Help Make Your Kid Smarter

There’s no reason why education should be a bore for kids. Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, they can now find fun, informative, and important videos that can make them smarter one clip at a time.

Here are 19 Youtube children’s videos to send your kids off into an exciting world of new possibilities:

1. How big is the ocean? TED-Ed

TED’s educational channel is perfect for kids. With its fun animations and interesting topics, along with its accessible, means there are some big and complex topics reduced into understandable content. It makes learning fun!

2. All about nouns – Free School

Getting to grips with grammar can be hard work. Even authors, journalists, and academics can make elementary errors from time to time.

The earlier you start, the better, but these Free School videos teach the basics of grammar in vibrant fashion.

3. Bach’s Partita in E Major – Smalin

Stephen Malinsowki’s channel takes classical music into the 21st century. With his animated videos, the world’s most famous compositions get transformed into visual treats thanks to his efforts.

For more about his videos, check out 16 inspiring classic music videos.

4. First Circumnavigation of the Earth – Simple History

Here’s an epic history lesson – who were the first humans to circumnavigate the globe? It was Ferdinand Magellan (sort of), although this complex story of bravery and suffering is an incredible story to add to any child’s knowledge of world history.

The channel offers plenty more like this, too, and simplifies difficult topics.

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5. Can we “de-extinct” animals? – The Brain Scoop

The Brain Scoop channel takes a look at many creepy crawlies, plus big questions of our day. This includes whether we can, Jurassic Park style, bring back woolly mammoths and/or mastodons.

6. Otter cubs get a swimming lesson – BBC Earth

The BBC is famous for its wildlife documentaries. On BBC Earth’s YouTube channel, you’ll find a large amount of videos of the world’s animals at large.

Below are some otter cubs finding out how to swim – one of many educational videos about animals.

7. Elmo riding a tricycle – Sesame Street

It’s been around for decades, it’s affected many people across the world (even I used to watch it as a young one back in the late 1980s), and it’s on YouTube!

The channel has the sort of fun material you’d expect, with this video offering a welcome confidence boost for anyone about to learn how to ride a bike.

8. Jack Back Wants to See Your Weird – SoulPancake

Weird is wonderful. And Jack Black wants you to embrace your daft side.

The SoulPancake channel dares kids to think outside the box, as well as embrace their wacky side. Ideal for any young minds looking to unleash their inner creativity.

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9. Lisa Winter, Robot Builder – Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls

This is Amy Poehler’s channel that takes a look at inspirational women from around the world.

Here we have Lisa Winter, who builds robots. It’s a great channel if your daughter is looking to challenge herself, or find an exciting new hobby.

10. What happens if you eat mold? – SciShow

We’ve probably all thought about what happens if you eat mold. Now we know, thanks too the SciShow.

This channel takes a fun look at science and dares to answer some of the big questions of our world (as well as some of the smaller ones).

11. What’s the hottest hot and coldest cold? – It’s Okay To Be Smart

Any budding scientists will find this channel helpful. Here we have the answer to the hottest hot and the coldest cold, which anyone can use to enlighten those around them!

For kids, it’s physics made easy thanks to a fun channel that also uses some excellent animation.

12. iPhone in molten aluminium – The Backyard Scientist

This backyard scientist gets up to all manner of unusual experiments.

Here he’s doing the unthinkable – immersing an iPhone into molten aluminium. What do you think will happen?

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13. 3D pen wall art – Make Anything

A 3D printing and design channel! With this clip, kids can find some artistic inspiration.

A search through the rest of the channel will also be enough for any young mind to find a new project or two.

14. Mesopotamian ghostbusting with Irving Finkel – British Museum

Here’s a handy history lesson for inquisitive young minds. Learn about ancient Mesopotamia with Irving Finkel, a philologist and Assyriologist for the British Museum.

As this video from the museum’s official channel points out, Irv ain’t afraid of no ghost.

15. What Do We Do All Day?

This lovely little mini-science experiment will help your kids create an ocean in a bottle. I’m 33 and I want to make one of these things, so I should imagine any younger individual would be positively thrilled to make one of these.

What Do We Do All Day’s channel offers up many other gems such as this, too.

16. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Kermode and Mayo

The BBC’s flagship film review show is an absolute joy – it has an army of fans across the world.

Asides from being funny and entertaining, film critics Dr. Mark Kermode’s impassioned reviews are educational and progressive.

Perfect listening for anyone getting to appreciate film criticism.

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17. Rare double asteroid revealed – NASA

NASA’s channel is full of other worldly wonders such as this rare double asteroid reveal. Along with its many live streams from the Earth’s orbit, it’s a fascinating and essential channel for any young mind to be following.

18. What has NASA’s Juno discovered around Jupiter? – Astrum

Astrum is a bit like NASA’s channel, but more detailed. It takes a close look at some of our planets, for instance, like with the ever-fascinating Jupiter.

If you have any budding astronauts in your family, this is another essential channel.

19. Best creative home hacks anyone can do – HooplaKidz

Last but not least, here we have some arts and crafts.

Would your kid like one of these cute cushions in your home? Would they also want to create it themselves?

Then this is the right video and channel for you. Find out the basics for some fun crafts and liven up your home with a few friendly new knickknacks.

There you go, 19 Youtube children’s videos that will help your kids learn new stuff in a fun way! Of course, with a bit of your guidance while watching these videos together, you’re having some really good quality time with your kids too!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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