Getting Ready for Kindergarten


Here are some simple ways you can help your child make the most of full-day kindergarten:

  • Make learning a regular part of your activities at home (e.g., playing games together, cooking together).
  • Cuddle up and read. Quiet times together are opportunities to bond and read. Put some excitement into your voice. As you go, explain any new words or ideas. Talk about the pictures.
  • Games can be great learning tools. Board games or card games like word bingo and rhyming cards can be a fun way to learn about words, letter sounds and reading.
  • Use games to help your child learn shapes. Play “I Spy” with your child by asking them to guess an object you identify by its shape: “I spy something that is round”. Make this game more challenging by stating two shapes: “I spy something that is round and has a square on it.”
  • Encourage your child to explore interesting materials. These could include leaves, pine cones, egg boxes, cereal boxes, straws, wrapping paper, etc. Children can count them, divide them into equal piles or match them by colour. All of these activities build math and literacy skills.
  • Let your child make their own choices when being creative. Keep the activity unstructured. For example, if your child talks about painting a snowman, let them decide what it should look like. Encourage them to talk about their choices, without judging their decisions.
  • Encourage questions. Giving children the confidence to ask questions lets them expand their knowledge and understanding. Use their questions to introduce new words into their vocabulary.
  • Maintain Structure in the home
Kindergarten Orientation - Social Story - Google Slides.webm


  • Arrange for your child to spend some time with relatives or close family friends. This often helps children develop a growing sense of independence and capacities for communicating needs with other adults. It also gives you a chance to see how your child reacts when you are not there.
  • Set up play dates. Setting up play dates with children who will attend the same school can help your child establish early friendships.
  • Invite your child to take a special item from home (e.g., stuffed toy to provide comfort) only if necessary.
  • Arrive early and walk around the school and playground to help orient your child.
  • Remain cheerful and let your child know who will be there to pick them up at the end of the school day.
  • Remind them about the exciting new things they will learn and take some time to greet or talk to the educators together.
  • There is no longer Gradual Entry in Kindergarten. All HDSB schools will welcome all children on the first day of school in September. You will receive an email with your child's teacher name(s) over the Labour Day weekend.

Click on the buttons below to find tips and information that will help you and your child prepare for the first day of Kindergarten.

For more support, please visit Halton Region's Ready, Set, Go! Preparing for Kindergarten website.