Kindergarten registration, plus games & activities to get ready

Posted on February 25, 2020 at 6:00 am

By Mary Ellen Braks

It’s hard to believe that it is already time for parents to register their children for kindergarten. March 1 is the first day to register for most school districts in Spokane County.

Even though school doesn’t start until September, this early registration allows for school districts to plan ahead to have the needed number of teachers and classrooms in the fall. When you register your child for school, here are some common things that you will be asked to bring in: 

  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Child’s immunization records
  • Proof of residence, such as your driver’s license or a first-class piece of mail

You can look for more information and links to school districts throughout Spokane County on our How to Register Your Child for Kindergarten webpage.

After registering, you can help your child get ready for kindergarten. The expectations of what it means to be “ready for kindergarten” have changed over the years, so I’m sharing what it means for your kindergartener in 2020. A few basic skills help children adapt to school and succeed in learning. Those skills include:

  • Language (engaging in conversation, learning new vocabulary)
  • Literacy (recognizing letters, writing their name)
  • Physical movement (zipping up a coat, holding a pencil for writing, running, jumping)
  • Math (recognizing numbers, identifying shapes)
  • Cognitive (solving problems, staying on task)
  • Social emotional (sharing, managing emotions)

These skills may seem intimidating at first glance, but chances are your child has already mastered some of them and some they may still be working on. Since children develop at different rates, this is very common.

These skills can be developed by reading, writing, talking, singing, and playing with your child. Play is a key piece to how young children learn best. For examples of some great activities that you can do with your child for each of the skill areas, check out our Getting Ready for Kindergarten webpage.

Storytimes also provide learning opportunities for pre-kindergarten children. Our schedule of storytimes can be found on our events calendar. Once there, you can choose your local library to find a storytime near you.

Another great resource for families is a hand-out from the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Instruction called the “Characteristics of Children Entering Kindergarten.” You can get the hand-out from their website.

So even though starting school can be a little stressful, for parents and kids alike, it’s also full of excitement as your child continues on their journey of lifelong learning.

Mary Ellen Braks

Mary Ellen Braks is the Public Services Manager in charge of Early Learning for children, from birth to age 8, for the Spokane County Library District and has been working in libraries for 30 years. She has a Masters in Library Science from Simmons College and has worked as the Head of Children’s Services at the M.G. Parker Memorial Library in Massachusetts and as a Reference Librarian for children and teens at Longmont Public Library in Colorado. Before her library career started, Mary Ellen worked in child care and as a preschool teacher while completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education at Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts. Her current position is the perfect combination of her degrees and passions—children, books, and education.

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