Summer Kindergarten Conquerors

Hooray, it’s summer! Transitional kindergarten students have finished the first year of a two-year kindergarten program. Now, it’s on to the next adventure! Instead of looking at summer as a vacation from all things academic, it provides the perfect scenario for practicing skills in a relaxed, fun, even outdoor way.

There is no expectation of TK students mastering kindergarten curriculum. However, they should have had opportunities for a wide variety of experiences and opportunities to explore. Classrooms are demanding for students to manage; taking turns, sharing, learning routines, listening, following directions and schedules, it’s all challenging for young children. Many teachers see TK as an excellent opportunity for students to develop more mature social and emotional skills. They’ll need to hang on to these new skills to interact successfully with peers and adults when they start back to school for kindergarten.

The “summer slide” is what educators refer to as the loss in academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer vacation. Parents can alleviate the loss of both academic and social-emotional skills and enjoy family time as well. Let’s take a look at how easy this can be!

motor skills hopscotch
Sidewalk chalk is perfect for making a letter maze where children can hop, skip, and be-bop their way up and down the alphabet. Play a version of musical chairs; when the music stops, children name a letter, it’s sound, a word that starts with that letter or name a friend whose name has that letter.

Jump rope rhymes can provide great practice at listening to and identifying rhyming words and word families. here are books you can check out at the library with fun, sing-able rhymes.

Conduct an ABC scavenger hunt by looking in the yard or neighborhood for objects to write down. Challenge children to see how many they can find!

Create stationary by doing a crayon rubbing of tree bark or use water colors to create a picture. Help children write letters to friends or relatives!

Create a memory game using paper plates with sight words written on them. Lay them out on the lawn and have children turn them over to read and match!

Post a summer daily calendar. No need to think up daily activities, others have done the work for you! Google “kindergarten summer calendars” and you will have an assortment of calendars to choose from that will give you fun ideas to keep those TK skills sharp. Here’s a calendar example.

Don’t forget the library! All summer long, there are activities for children at local libraries. They can keep track of the books read on the summer reading program’s logs. Best of all, these activities are free!

Make the most of your summer with fun activities that will give your child an academic boost. Keep skills sharp and your child ready to conquer kindergarten!

About Stephanie Alexander

I am just one of those people who find young children charming, entertaining and fascinating! With my husband David, I’ve raised four successful children with whom we have loving, wonderful relationships. I’ve also been in the world of education for over 25 years in the roles of preschool teacher and director, kindergarten and transitional kindergarten teacher, and, currently, I’m serving transitional kindergarten-second grade students and teachers as an Instructional Service Coordinator with the Shasta County Office of Education. In 2015, I helped start the first Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten Professional Learning Community with 18 teachers participating from Shasta County. I'm excited about my latest job assignment: coaching teachers participating in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grant as part of the Reach Higher Shasta organization.
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