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Tips to help prepare for kindergarten

Thurston Elementary kindergarten teacher Cheri Westerkamp recently offered a few tips to help soon-to-be kindergarten families prepare their students for their upcoming year at school. 

Her No. 1 suggestion was for parents and families to bring their child to kindergarten registration and welcome events. 

"Let them come visit the teachers, the classrooms and the people to help them get used to where they'll spend the day at school," Westerkamp said. 

Some of the other top suggestions she had for parents and families included: 

Practice going to the bathroom - Incoming kindergarten students should fully understand how to use the restroom, but often need more practice with unbuttoning and re-buttoning, zipping and re-zipping clothing and washing hands.

Tying their shoes "I tie about 1,000 shoes per year!" Westerkamp said. Helping students learn how to tie their shoes before getting to kindergarten will save everyone a lot of time. 

Reading - Westerkamp encouraged parents and families to read books with their children and help them begin to understand reading concepts. 

"But don't expect them to be a thorough reader before or even by the end of their kindergarten year," she said.

Numbers - Practice counting as high as possible with your students. 

Colors - Have students identify the colors of the rainbow in different places. 

Letters - show young students the alphabet and get them to say the letters out loud. 

Let them ask questions - Students often have a lot of thoughts and questions about the world around them. Allow them to ask you questions and explore answers with them even if you don't know the answer. 

Kindergarten Resources