Kindergarten Readiness/Transition Series
(Information for Parents)
We hope you are enjoying the Kindergarten Readiness Email Series!  Don't forget to contact your public school for all the latest news on Kindergarten Registration!!
As a reminder: The Kindergarten Activity Section is going to focus on one of the following 7 Areas:  Self-Care; Language and Communication; Social/Emotional; Fine Motor; Gross Motor; Math Readiness and Pre-Reading/Literacy.  This one focuses on Literacy Skills.


Self Help Inc CFCE Staff
Kindergarten Article



Reading: What Happens in Kindergarten?
Pre-Reading/Literacy Skills

Many parents think of kindergarten as "the reading year," and it's no wonder: from the beginning of this first official year of school to the last, children go from recognizing letters of the alphabet to becoming beginning readers ready to tackle the challenges of grade school. A lot happens over this essential year of schooling, so here's a handy guide to help you know where your child should be with reading skills at the beginning of the kindergarten year, as well as at the end.

While every teacher and school has their own set of "prerequisites," there's a set of general reading expectations that most teachers share when it comes to kids entering kindergarten.  

While all schools are different, in the following months most teachers will work on a similar set of reading skills. For example, before beginning to read, students need to have a solid foundation in concepts about print. That means that kindergarteners spend plenty of time in the beginning of the year absorbing details about how reading works, such as the fact the reading happens left to right, top to bottom. They'll also be spending lots of time going over letter-sound correspondence, vowel sounds, sight words, and a whole host of other skills that form the framework for beginning literacy.

Julie Williams 



Kindergarten Activity Section

Skill: Pre-Reading/Literacy Skills 

While every teacher and school has their own set of "prerequisites," there's a set of general reading expectations that most teachers share when it comes to kids entering kindergarten. Before entering kindergarten, a student well prepared for reading should be able to:


Skills Include:
  • Read his/her own name
  • Recite the alphabet
  • Recognize some or all of the letters in the alphabet
  • Correspond some or all letters with their correct sound
  • Make rhymes
  • Hold a book right side up with the spine on the left, front cover showing
  • Recognize that the progression of text is left to right, top to bottom
  • Echo simple text that is read to them
  • Recognize that text holds meaning
  • Re-tell a favorite story

So where do kids end up by the time the end of kindergarten rolls around? While schools vary, a student working at the standard level should be able to do the following by the end of kindergarten in order to be prepared for first grade reading:

  • Recognize all letters of the alphabet in both their lowercase and capital form
  • Be able to make the correct sound or sounds for each letter of the alphabet
  • Read 20 high frequency words
  • Read grade-level appropriate texts
  • Create rhyming words
  • Use phonetic skills  to read new words
  • Have a strong awareness of print concepts   
  • Use language structure to read new words
  • Display comprehension of what she has read



Activities to do with your child:

Literacy activities for your preschooler

15 Early literacy activities to do at home

1.Use long strands of yarn or cooked spaghetti noodles to form the letters of the alphabet. If you are feeling really ambitious, you can glue the letters onto paper and make them into a colorful alphabet display.

2. Try some activities that will help teach your child the vocabulary for the concepts of quantity, size and measurement. Read stories such as The Three Bears or the Three Billy Goats Gruff. Act out the stories using small, medium, and large stuffed animals. Identify items in your home that are small, medium, and large. Gather them up and have you child sort them according to size.

3. Play "I Spy" with your child using words that describe an objects position. For example, "I spy something in the living room, under the table, next to the cat." You can also try "Simon Says" using directional words like, "Simon says put your arm above your head."

4. Stories before bed is a time honored tradition, but what about stories other times of the day? Try reading at bath time, snack time, while waiting at the doctor's office, or in the car. Even five minutes of reading has lasting benefits.

5. Put pancake batter into a plastic bag and cut a small hole into the corner. As you pour the batter into the pan, make the letters of your child's name. Talk about the letters before enjoying breakfast! You can try this with cookie dough too.

6. Sing the alphabet song throughout the day. Have fun trying out different voices; sing the song mad, happy, silly, loud, or soft.

7. On a sunny day, take a bucket of water and a large paintbrush outside and help your child paint letters onto the house, sidewalk, or driveway.

8. Go on a nature walk and collect leaves, nuts, and other things you find. Then sort them by color or size.

9. Make a grocery list with your child. Ask your child what they want from the grocery store (within reason, of course) and spell out the letters of the words as you write them down. As you add these items to your cart at the store, have your child check them off the list.

10. Create a restaurant with your child. Have your child decide what will be on the menu and let them watch you write it down. (You could even look in a magazine or use clipart to create pictures.) Only have a few items so your child can memorize which item is first on the list and so on. Then have your child take orders from the other members of the family, marking it on the list.

11. At night when your child is in bed, have a puppet visit and talk with your child about the day. Have the puppet ask you child to tell it a story about something that happened. It's always interesting to hear what your child thought was important about the day.

12. Write a letter with your child. Choose a cousin, grandparent or friend that you don't get to see very often or a favorite author or illustrator. Have your child dictate the letter as you write it down. This is also a great opportunity to explain to your child how mail works. You child will enjoy helping you address the envelope, putting the stamp on, and placing the letter in the mailbox.

13. Show your child how a map works. Are you going on a trip or perhaps just around the neighborhood? Have your child trace the route you are taking on the map with their finger.

14. Help your child label the important things in his or her room, like the furniture.

15. Pretend you are going on a picnic and pack a basket or bag with only things that start with one letter. Try starting with the first letter of their name. If they enjoy the game, continue with another letter.


Kindergarten Resources

 Books for Preschoolers

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr.
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
Corduroy by Don Freeman
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch
The Mitten by Jan Brett
Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss
Strega Nona by Tomie De Paola
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault
The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Are You My Mother? by Philip D. Eastman
The Napping House by Audrey Wood
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
Curious George by Hans Augusto Rey
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
The Art Lesson by Tomie De Paola
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
I Am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin 

Contact Us
Self Help Inc./CFCE
780 West Main Street
Avon, MA 02322
Phone: 508-559-1666 x128 


Self Help Inc./CFCE is funded by the MA Department of Early Education's Coordinated Family and Community Engagement grant.