Family 411: Preparing young children for kindergarten

Getting children ready for kindergarten (WSYX)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) - Kindergarten is changing and likely is more demanding than when you were there. Many parents are feeling the pressure to make sure their kids are ready.

Experts like Sarah Wright, who teaches a kindergarten readiness class, says children need to practice skills with their small hands. "You actually have to build those finger muscles because you are doing all kinds of writing , you are doing cutting with scissors."

Story time at your local library is a place for children to learn not just their letters. But about each other. "Just to be socially around other children their own age is really more important than the educational aspect at this age because they have to know how to get along with other kids," says mom Nikki Jones.

Playing games can be an important step when you help your child learn sounds and phonics as they begin to read. "Reading three new picture books a week actually can increase a child's vocabulary by 40 percent."

Nikki jones tells us her children have benefited from story time and kindergarten readiness classes. Jones wants 4-year-old Desmond to be prepared academically and emotionally. "Your kids taking direction from different adults is very beneficial to them."

Sarah says learning to focus and pay attention is also part of kindergarten readiness. "What kiddo doesn't need to learn you got to keep your hands to yourself, you have got to learn to take turns."

Grandma Marcia Jarrett tells us children learn through play. She advocates for keeping it fun. And fostering life-long learning. "I like this atmosphere, I like they encourage the children, not push them but encourage them."

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