School is right around the corner for many parents and kids. And if your child isn’t already in pre-school you could be feeling the pressure to prepare your child for kindergarten. This is an exciting time, but can also be stressful when you don’t know exactly how to focus on your child’s pre-readiness skills in between messy spills and tantrums. So, here are 5 Creative Ways to Develop Your Child’s Pre-School Readiness Skills to give you a few helpful ideas!
Play Guessing Games
Guessing games are not only fun to do for kids but it’s a perfect time to encourage your child to use more creative descriptive words to get you to guess what they’re thinking about. It also helps them connect descriptives you choose to guess what you’re thinking about.
For example, something as simple as “I Spy” can work to teach your child that there are more than 100 ways to describe a tree other than using the color “green”. This is extremely beneficial because once they start their school careers this is a skill that is emphasized especially in early childhood.
This is also a great opportunity to teach your child about the functions of different items and things and learn how they see the world. For instance, you may describe a store as “a place where people buy things” but your child may describe a store as “a place where you ride around with mommy and look at food”.
Pay attention when your child speaks
Children have different personalities and while some may talk more than others, it’s important in pre-school years to hold conversations with them instead of giving short answers, encouraging short answers, or tuning them out.
When a child sees that you’re fully engaged with them in conversation, it encourages them to use oral language more and greatly increases their oral speech capabilities.
Plan the day together
In grade school, children are expected to know how to use past, present and future tenses to describe events. If your child isn’t quite there yet, this is an easy way to start building those skills.
When you wake up and start your morning routine, tell your child what the plan is for the day (be sure to include fun things that you know they’ll remember). Then, ask them to repeat back to what’s on the agenda. Encourage them to use words in the future tense like “will”, “going to”, etc.
Use bedtime to talk about what happened that day
Just like the morning is a good time to teach how to talk about things that are going to happen, bedtime is the perfect time to talk about things that have already happened.
At bedtime, demonstrate how to use this tense by telling your child your favorite parts of what happened that day. Then, encourage them to tell you what their favorite parts were so they can actively practice using this tense orally.
Remember, not every child is the same, and though there are speech-language milestones, and general developmental milestones, that we use to describe progress, work with your child at their own pace.
They may have past and present tenses down but struggle with future tenses- this is fine. With consistent work and (in some cases) professional intervention from a speech therapist, your child will be on their way to reaching those language goals in no time.