Kids should be physically ready for kindergarten

Rebecca White  |  7/7/2009 7:48:38 PM

Back-to-School News Distributed 07/07/09

One of the many ways in which parents can help their children prepare for kindergarten is physical development, according to LSU AgCenter family development professor Dr. Rebecca White.

Physical development takes many forms, and White offers these questions for parents to consider:

– Does my child enjoy outdoor play like running, climbing and jumping?

– Can my child draw and trace basic shapes like circles, squares, triangles and ovals?

– Can my child bounce a ball?

– Can my child ride a tricycle?

– Can my child cut with safety scissors?

After asking yourself these questions, focus on helping your child improve in the areas in which he or she needs the most help.

White makes these suggestions to help your child be physically ready for kindergarten:

– Collect materials your child can use to develop motor skills that are necessary for learning to write. These include crayons, pencils, markers, paper, children’s safety scissors, glue, paint, puzzles and blocks.

– Create a play time that focuses on artwork. Guide your child in learning to draw, cut paper, color, paint and paste. Show him or her how to do the skills, and then let your child try to imitate you. Praise children when they create their own works of art! Display them in your home.

– Develop regular times for your child to enjoy activities that will help develop coordination. These include skipping, jumping, climbing, playing ball, riding a tricycle and using playground equipment.

“Parents make a big difference in their children’s lives and future success by helping them prepare for school,” White says. “They play a critical role in their children’s growth and development because they are the first and most important teachers their children will ever have.”

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Editor: Mark Claesgens

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