Skills for Children Entering Kindergarten
Play is an important part of learning.
Your child learns best when he or she is spending time with you and doing activities that are interesting and fun.
Practice these skills at home with your child. If an activity is difficult, provide opportunities to practice in many short sessions to decrease frustration. Every child learns at his or her own rate. Providing multiple opportunities to learn and practice these skills is important.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend a minimum of 60-120 minutes total each day of exercise for children. Exercise time should include some activities that are a moderate to vigorous intensity level including running, jumping, hopping, etc. for bone and muscle strengthening.
Gross Motor Skills
Unstructured activities are child directed and may include:
- exploring play with balls
- riding a tricycle and scooter and using hippity-hop
- chasing and popping bubbles
- exploring play with a large box
- using toys that encourage independent movement
Structured activities are planned and guided by an adult and may include:
- activities with songs such as Ring Around the Rosy, Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
- chase games or freeze dance to music
- obstacle courses that include movement in different positions for example belly or army crawl, crawling, knee walking
- create a parade with different movements including marching, jumping, hopping, galloping, jumping in/out/over objects low to the ground such as a hula hoop or yardstick
- animal walks including frog jumps, bear walk (hands and feet on the floor with stomach towards floor), crab walk (hands and feet on floor with stomach toward ceiling), pretend to be a dog or cat, scurry like a mouse (walk on tiptoes), hold child’s legs and have them wheelbarrow walk on their hands
- balance activities such as stand on 1 foot and count seeing who can stand the longest, stand on 1 foot with arms in different positions, hold animal positions for as long as possible, walk on a line or beam
- ball activities can include throwing rolled socks (fit a child’s hand size), throwing and catching small foam balls, bean bags, and playground balls, kicking balls of various sizes
- play games such as red light/green light or Simon Says
- practice put on, take off, and zip coat independently
- expose to tying shoes
- carry heavy objects or bags of groceries
- yoga poses (google “yoga poses for children” for examples of poses and pictures/videos)
- See list of Community Resources for other activities
Fine Motor Skills
- practice writing/drawing with a variety of utensils including chalk, markers, crayons, paint brushes on flat and vertical surfaces. Use an easel, tape paper to wall or use blackboard paint on a wall.
- practice writing and recognizing name
- practice writing letters with pointer finger in sand, salt, rice, or shaving cream on a tray or cookie sheet
- use blunt scissors to snip and cut straight and curved lines on paper
- put a 10-12 piece puzzle together
- use play-doh and roll, shape and cut the doh
- squeeze cells of bubble wrap
- use tweezers or tongs to pick up and move items into container
- use clothespins and attach to can, rope etc.
- songs with finger movements
- wring out wet sponges and wipe a table
- play with Lego and Duplo building blocks
- string beads and macaroni
- tear paper
- play games/activities with small pieces requiring hand skills
- help with cooking, including mixing and stirring, and fold clothes
- use language with all of the above mentioned activities – jump 3 times and count, talk about the color beads stringing, etc.
- speak in full sentences
- use please and thank you
- follow 2-3 step directions ex. Put the trash in the basket and then put your plate in the dishwasher or go to your room, get the blue jacket, and then meet me at the door, etc.
- practice rhyming words
- listen to a story, makes simple predictions and comments about the story, and be able to retell the basic facts
- understand vocabulary related to position, direction, size and comparison including: like/different, top/bottom, first/last, big/little, up/down
- recite/participate/join in repeating a familiar song/poem/finger play/nursery rhyme
- practice saying and recognizing letters
- practice recognizing sounds in words – first sound is easiest. What sound does ball start with?
Sutton Community Resources
Beginning Years Family Network
13 Providence Rd.
Sutton, Ma. phone: 508-865-5920
Resources and play groups
Sutton Youth Baseball League
T-Ball ages 4-6
Sutton Youth Soccer
Programs for children ages 3-6
1. Sutton Public Schools
409 Boston Road
2. Purgatory Chasm State Reservation Playground and Hiking Trails
198 Purgatory Rd.
Sutton MA 01590
phone: 508 234-3733
Restroom and picnic facilities available
Sutton Free Public Library Programs
4 Uxbridge Road
Sutton, Ma. 01590 phone: 508-865-8752
Swim Lessons (summer)
1. Marion’s Camp Tuttle Road Sutton, Ma. phone: 508-865-8725
Sponsored by the Town offering 3 2-week sessions with a 1 adult to 5 student ratio $60.00/session at 11:00 AM. Private lessons available. Beach passes available for a fee.
Red Cross Program
Private teacher at her pool. Ratio 1 teacher to six students. Three 2-week sessions available. $75.00/session. Times throughout the day.
Red Cross Program. Teacher is certified in Adaptive aquatics and works as the kindergarten physical education teacher and adaptive physical education teacher in the Sutton Public Schools.
There are pages to describe the facilities at each park. Local libraries, including Sutton Library, have a pass for the parks.
Federal Recreation areas for New England
Local parks include:
1. Buffumville Lake 229 Oxford Road
Charlton MA 01507 phone: 508-248-5697
2. West Hill Dam
518 East Hartford Avenue
Uxbridge, MA 01569
Phone: (978) 318-8410