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By Thea Theresa English

Get your toddler ready for kindergarten with these creative strategies

Parents with toddlers know that it will not be long before their children enter kindergarten. There are several things they can do to ensure that the child is prepared for this stage in his life. They can start by purchasing instruction books and magazines that will assist them in the transition. Most states use the Common Core curriculum, so parents need to educate themselves on what those standards are at kindergarten level. They can also talk with those whose children are in kindergarten now to get an idea of what will be taught.

Start with the writing skills

One of the main skills that kindergarteners learn is how to write, so parents should start writing lessons as soon as possible. They can get alphabet flashcards and help their toddler sound out the letters. They should also teach the child how to write each letter of the alphabet and his own name before entering kindergarten. Teach them to write both uppercase and lowercase letters.

Understanding numbers

Children entering kindergarten will also learn about numbers, so parents should practice number recognition with their preschoolers. Make counting part of your household activities. Parents can say something like, "We are going to buy three loaves of bread today" or "I see you are washing two plates today." The child can also determine how many of certain objects he sees during the day.

Motor skills

Crafts are an excellent way to boost your child's motor skills to get him ready for kindergarten. Give him a pair of blunt scissors and have him cut out pictures from magazines. Parents can also teach the child how to glue pieces of paper together, how to trace the outside of objects with markers and how to color inside the lines. Playing sports in the backyard is another way to improve motor skills.

Books about kindergarten

Some children get nervous about entering kindergarten since they will be in a different environment away from home. Parents can read books about kindergarten and then answer any questions the child might have. Let the child know that it is okay to feel scared on the first day of school and that you will be there to help them in the process.

Check out the school with your child

Parents can arrange for their child to meet with the teacher and future classmates in the days leading up to the first day of school. If the child is outgoing, have him talk with the classmates and introduce himself. If he is reserved, go with him while he talks with the other kids. Introduce him to the teacher and have her explain what will happen in coming days.

Make school shopping fun

Turn school shopping into an exciting time for your child. Let him or her pick out the book bag, pencils and lunch box they want. Shower them with encouragement. With these strategies the child will be well prepared for kindergarten.

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