As parents and caregivers, we want what’s best for our kids. We feed, clothe and nurture them, read and tell stories, comfort them and listen. We want them to do well in school and succeed, which is linked with positive health outcomes. In order to succeed in school, young students must be ready to learn at each grade level, starting with pre-kindergarten.
Parents and caregivers play a key role in ensuring a child is ready to succeed in school at their grade level. School readiness is defined not just by reaching the age milestone to start pre-k, kindergarten and so on, but also by physical, social/emotional, language and cognitive developmental milestones appropriate for each grade level.
Regular well visits with a pediatrician are critical in helping ensure your child is developing appropriately. You and your child’s pediatrician can help identify suspected delays and seek resources to help support the child.
In addition, here’s how you can support your child’s development:
- Talk often with her and respond to her questions.
- Encourage active play, especially pretend play, with other children.
- Read, read, read to her every day. Talk about the words in books, ask her to predict what will happen in the stories and to make up stories of her own.
- Provide pencils, markers, crayons and blank paper for drawing and writing.
- Make things together out of empty food containers, markers, tape and glue.
- Play guessing games with her.
- Go places together, encourage her to notice things in her surroundings and talk about all the interesting things there are to see and do.
- Use everyday activities to point out words and numbers.
- Encourage her independence in managing daily tasks and helping with household chores, such as setting the table.
- Limit screen time (television and video games) to allow time for more active learning experiences.