Countdown to Kindergarten Celebration

Countdown to Kindergarten was developed by South Carolina First Steps in 2003 to help support strong school transitions by connecting rising kindergartners, families and teachers in a series of one-on-one visits throughout the summer. The program has supported more than 17,000 children across the state. 

We celebrate all rising kindergarteners in their upcoming transition to school. If you have a rising kindergartener, we hope that your family will take part in a of the Countdown to Kindergarten Celebration event.

Host a Countdown to Kindergarten Celebration

Join with us in celebrating all of South Carolina’s rising kindergartners by hosting your own event in 2022 – making this a true, statewide event. Entities including children’s museums, libraries, faith-based organizations, and other child-centric organizations across the state can make this milestone special for the children and their families. Show South Carolina communities just how much our state values collaboration and the importance of getting young children ready for kindergarten. If you or members of your team decide to host an event, consider joining the statewide celebration by adding the Countdown to Kindergarten logo to your promotion. Let us know by email (lbaker@scfirststeps.org) so we can to show the Palmetto State’s steadfast support of its children. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of children and their families.

Ideas for activities:

  • Practice getting on and off a school bus
  • Carry a lunchroom tray
  • Set up a mock kindergarten classroom
  • Practice opening lunchbox items
  • Offer health screenings (vision, dental, hearing)
  • Give away school supplies

 

Transition to Kindergarten Ideas

Source: https://www.understood.org/articles/en/how-to-get-ready-for-kindergarten

  1. Practice the bedtime and morning routines you’ll be using once school starts to help prepare yourself and your child and help them be ready
  2. Cut back on naptime since it may be shorter in Kindergarten classrooms
  3. Try making dinner together and giving your child simple one and two step directions
  4. Ask your child what they want to know about kindergarten, address any concerns they may have, and encourage them to ask for help and ask questions
  5. Make emoji signs with your child and make up a song about the emotions they represent
  6. Practice opening lunchbox items
  7. Have your child practice holding a pencil and cutting shapes to practice motor skills they’ll need in kindergarten

Social-emotional learning has been identified as key to kindergarten transition success. Find more activities at https://cfec.sc.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/Ready%20Set%20Kindergarten/2020-2-17_RSK_emotion.pdf, and links to this page with 100 social skills practice activities https://www.kiddiematters.com/100-social-skills-activities-preschoolers/

We are celebrating the importance of school readiness and sharing weekly insight into what "school readiness' means, along with tips and resources for parents and families.

10 Weeks until Kindergarten (week of June 7)

The first day of kindergarten is 10 weeks away! Is your child ready for school?

All children are ready for kindergarten if they are five years old by September 1st. But “kindergarten readiness” is more than a matter of age. From the time they are born, children develop certain skills and abilities that prepare them for success in school.

Play is one of them! Play is how children explore and learn about their world. Through playful interactions with adults and other children, they learn to communicate, problem-solve, and get along with others.

To ignite your child’s imagination, encourage pretend play with a game of charades! Have your child waddle like a duck, hop like a rabbit, or zoom like a rocket ship.

9 Weeks until Kindergarten (week of June 14)

The first day of kindergarten is 9 weeks away! Is your child ready for school?

All children are ready for kindergarten if they are five years old by September 1st. But “kindergarten readiness” is more than a matter of age. From the time they are born, children develop certain skills and abilities that prepare them for success in school.

The ability to move with control is one of them! Large movements like running, jumping, and climbing allow a child to explore their world with confidence. Smaller movements, like cutting with scissors or zipping up a jacket, prepare your child for kindergarten activities like learning to write.

Help your child develop movement skills by limiting screen time and encouraging indoor and outdoor play. No fancy equipment necessary!

8 Weeks until Kindergarten (week of June 21)

The first day of kindergarten is 8 weeks away! Is your child ready for school?

All children are ready for kindergarten if they are five years old by September 1st. But “kindergarten readiness” is more than a matter of age. From the time they are born, children develop certain skills and abilities that prepare them for success in school.

Self-help skills like hand-washing, getting dressed, and cleaning up will give your child the confidence and independence they need in the kindergarten classroom.

You can encourage independent skills at home by creating simple, daily routines and responsibilities for your child.

7 Weeks until Kindergarten (week of June 28)

The first day of kindergarten is 7 weeks away! Is your child ready for school?

All children are ready for kindergarten if they are five years old by September 1st. But “kindergarten readiness” is more than a matter of age. From the time they are born, children develop certain skills and abilities that prepare them for success in school.

Children develop these skills primarily through relationships – first with parents and caregivers and then through friendships with other children. Positive relationships teach children how to communicate, cooperate, and deal with challenges.

You can encourage positive social skills at home by modeling good behavior yourself. Pay attention when your child is talking. Use words to describe your feelings. Encourage your child to share and take turns.

6 Weeks until Kindergarten (week of July 5)

The first day of kindergarten is 6 weeks away! Is your child ready for school?

All children are ready for kindergarten if they are five years old by September 1st. But “kindergarten readiness” is more than a matter of age. From the time they are born, children develop certain skills and abilities that prepare them for success in school.

The ability to follow simple rules and directions is important in any classroom setting. It is also one of the best predictors of success in young adulthood.

One way to encourage responsibility and self-control in young children is to give them simple, daily responsibilities at home. Have them help out at mealtime by setting the table, clearing their plate, and wiping up.

5 Weeks until Kindergarten (week of July 12)

The first day of kindergarten is 5 weeks away! Is your child ready for school?

All children are ready for kindergarten if they are five years old by September 1st. But “kindergarten readiness” is more than a matter of age. From the time they are born, children develop certain skills and abilities that prepare them for success in school.

Number sense is one of them. Although many of us think of math as a school subject, children actually begin learning math concepts from the moment they’re born. As they grow, children develop something called “number sense” by learning to count, group, and compare.

Help build your child’s mathematical mind. Make numbers part of everyday conversations, using phrases like “how many,” “more than” or “less than.”

4 Weeks until Kindergarten (week of July 19)

The first day of kindergarten is 4 weeks away. Let’s match, sort, and classify!

These are all important skills for future math learning. When children are able to identify and describe relationships between things, they are better prepared for mathematical thinking in school. Encourage your child to practice with everyday objects, like toys or snacks. Have them sort by color, size, and shape. Ask your child to explain their thinking with questions like, “what do these things have in common”?

3 Weeks until Kindergarten (week of July 26)

The first day of kindergarten is 3 weeks away. Let’s talk!

The ability to listen and follow directions are important skills for school success. Encourage your child to be a good listener by providing positive, clear directions. Let your child know what to do rather than telling them what not to do. And be sure to praise your child for a job well done!

2 Weeks until Kindergarten (week of August 2)

The first day of kindergarten is 2 weeks away. Let’s read together!

It’s one of the best ways to build a child’s vocabulary and comprehension skills. As you read, stop to discuss the pictures and stories. Ask your child to describe what’s happening and predict what will happen next. After reading, encourage your child to re-tell the story in their own words.

1 Week until Kindergarten (week of August 9)

The first day of kindergarten is just 1 week away. Let’s draw!  

Doodles and scribbles are the first steps in learning to write. Give your child plenty of opportunities to practice. Ask them to tell you about what they have drawn, and encourage them to sign their name. This is often the most meaningful printed word for a child, and the one they are most interested in learning to write.

It's time for Kindergarten! (week of August 16)

The first day of kindergarten is here! Is your child ready?

Remember that every child will be ready in different ways. What they all need most is the love and encouragement of their parents and caregivers. When you see your child try something new – whether or not they succeed on the first try – let them know how proud of you are of their effort. If you believe that your child will succeed in school, it helps them to believe it too.