Marbles Kids Museum is gearing up for its annual Kickoff to Kindergarten this Saturday and they have some great tips for parents of new kindergartners.
Getting kids ready for school will be an even bigger focus at Marbles. The downtown Raleigh museum was awarded a major grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. The two-year, $100,288 grant, which is Marbles' first federal grant, will pay for a new simulated classroom exhibit, play-based school-like programming and museum events that help children develop skills for success. Look for some changes to the Around Town area in about a year.
“Starting kindergarten is a big transition for children and families,” said Hardin Engelhardt, Marbles' exhibit and program developer. “While entering into the world of elementary school may be nerve-racking, it opens the door to new opportunities of learning, independence, growth and friendships."
Are you sending your little one off to kindergarten this year? Engelhardt has these tips and recommendations for families:
- Familiarize yourself with your new school
- Establish and practice new morning and evening routines. (Check out my post on creating routine charts).
- Create a place for all of the things that come and go from school each day so they’re easy to find and manage.
- Read books together about kindergarten, such as "Kindergarten Rocks!" by Katie Davis; "Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten," by Joseph Slate; and "Welcome to Kindergarten," by Anne Rockwell.
- Make and read your own book about going to kindergarten starring your child! Include the routines you’ll follow at home and the events of the school day.
- Play and explore together! Having a broad range of experiences and conversations encourages kids to be curious and builds their background knowledge. Experiences don’t need to be complicated, time-consuming or expensive to be rich opportunities for learning. Cooking together, taking walks, experimenting with bubbles and playing games all provide possibilities for fun, conversation and learning new things.
The Kickoff to Kindergarten runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh. The event, where kids can board a real school bus, go through a pretend lunch line and take part in a PE class, among many other activities, is free for new kindergartners and their families.