WORTHINGTON Kindergarten Round Up at Prairie Elementary looks a little different this year. Our registration opened with a series of fun on-line videos produced by Prairie’s kindergarten team. (You can find them on YouTube, linked on the district’s website).

To follow up and get our future kindergarteners to our building, we are hosting an outdoor walking parade to celebrate our in-coming students on Thursday, May 20 (with a rain date of Tuesday, May 25). This “parade” will be open-house style and outdoors. Parents and in-coming kindergarteners are welcome to come anytime between 5-8 p.m. Please park in the main parking lot, and proceed to the grassy area on the south side of the building.

When you arrive, you will be greeted by kindergarten staff who are excited to meet you. Families will be able to take pictures, turn in any remaining paperwork and ask questions about the upcoming year. Each kindergartener will get a goodie bag with surprises inside.

Here are some ideas of what you can practice with your kindergartener over the summer to get them ready to be a successful learner:

  • Count anything and everything around your home and outside.

  • Recognize shapes around your house.

  • Read stories to your children every day. Visit the Nobles County Library to check out free children’s books.

  • Go for walks and find letters on signs.

  • Practice identifying the letters in your child’s name.

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Kindergarten is not just about academics. We learn about self-help, independence and social skills like manners, sharing, taking turns and being kind.

  • Help your child become more independent in their personal skills, like buttons and zippers.

  • Practice personal hygiene like washing hands and coughing/sneezing into their elbow.

  • Show them how to wear a mask, and practice it regularly.

Remember that you are your child’s first teacher. They will develop many skills at school, but those that they learn from watching you will give them a great start in kindergarten.

Lastly, playing is also an important way for your child to learn. It is encouraged for your child to have authentic play experiences this summer, especially away from screen time. Encourage your child to read books, visit the park, pedal a bike, draw pictures, build towers and pretend play — where they get to use their imagination.

Lori Bristow and Tasha Raymo are kindergarten teachers at Prairie Elementary in Worthington.