In honor of the sweet little guy that I used to nanny turning 5 at the end of the month, I decided to do a post on 5 things to teach your kids before kindergarten!
I began taking care of him and his little brother when he was about 2 1/2 years old and man, it has been such an amazing thing to watch him grow into the handsome little man he is now.
As he got older, I was able to work with him and teach him many things. We were both filled with excitement on the day I taught him how to read the word “snow”. For some reason they had a ton of new reader books that were about snow!
Now he is able to read a good variety of different words as he is quickly approaching his 5th birthday!
Five is one of those ages that kind of sneaks up on you! They are transitioning out of toddlerhood and are getting ready to be a big bad kindergartener!
Here is just a small list of the many things your soon to be five-year-old needs to know!
I’m not here to be a “should-er” though!
If your kiddos don’t know some of these things than that is totally okay! I simply want to let you know of some of the things that are important for a five-year old to know and that you can teach them!
How To Swim
It’s time to take the plunge to teach your child how to swim. It is very important to get your child comfortable and confident in the water at a young age!
Not teaching your child how to swim will instill fear in them by keeping them out of the water and put them in danger!
I do understand that it can be a scary thing for moms and it takes quite some time before your kids feel comfortable in the water, but there are plenty of resources out there when it comes to teaching kids how to swim.
Most gyms with pools will have certified swim instructors that can do private lessons for your child.
Kids floaties have also made quite the transformation since we were kids! Instead of having the floaties that you stick on each arm and hope your child’s head stays bobbing on top of the water, there are some that have a floating piece that goes across their chest as well!
A great floatie that one that the moms I nanny for found is called Puddle Jumpers! They are great for allowing your child to get used to the feeling of water and they can even practice floating on their back while wearing them.
I was able to see the boys try them out a couple weeks ago and it was so cute to watch them.
They were even comfortable enough to jump in, swim in the deep end, and show me all their tricks they are learning at swim lessons.
How To Write Their Name
This one, in no way, has to be perfect!
While I was a nanny I would spend a lot of time with preschool aged children teaching them how to write their name.
When you have more than one kid, it can be hard to take the time to work with them on writing their name, but I have found a couple resources to help you teach your kids how to write their name!
From books to activities, there are plenty of ways to teach your kids to write their name no matter what your schedule as a mom is.
While doing story time before naps or bedtime Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is great! The kids can find the letters and say them as you point to them. Take some extra time to go over the letters that are in their name.
Tracing workbooks are also so much fun and your kiddo can do them while you are doing dishes, changing diapers, or whatever else needs to be done.
How To Do Chores
It is time to break out the ole chore chart in your home! The soon-to-be five-year-old is ready (and often times willing) to help out around the house.
Not only will it help you get things cleaned up, but it allows your child to feel a sense of accomplishment as well.
I do know that a lot of times it can be frustrating because you ask them to do something but then it ends up worse than it was before (trust me, I get that). But that’s where the teaching comes in.
Teach them to do simple tasks like wiping down the counter/table, putting their toys away, and even making their bed. Of course our expectations cannot be too high because they are still kids.
When the task is done be sure to give lots of praise even if it isn’t “perfect”. There are even cute kid sized brooms you can get so they can help sweep up! You can have them sweep things into a pile then help them to scoop it up and throw it away.
Expect wrinkles, expect some spots left on the counter, and expect to have to ask them to pick up those last few toys that they just “didn’t see”. BUT when they do it, give them praise! It helps to instill that sense of accomplishment and motivate them to continue helping out.
How To Behave In Public
Five years old means we are breaking away from the toddler stage and it is time for the tantrums to stop. If you need help on stopping the tantrums then check out this post on the best timeout method.
It is time to teach your kids what is and isn’t okay behavior in public. Soon they are going to be a kindergartener!
We can’t expect them to automatically know how to act now that they are not a toddler, but instead as parents you can teach them how to behave.
Dedicate some time to take your kids out to simply teach them good behavior. Go to the grocery store, take them to frozen yogurt, or wherever you might need to go, but don’t plan something that needs to be done.
Take them somewhere in public and if they do not show the correct behavior you can discipline and leave.
There have been a few times where I was at the park with kids and their behavior was out of control so I packed them up and left. The park trips that followed the few times I did that went so smoothly, I was amazed! They knew that in order to go out and do things, they needed to be on their best behavior and have good listening ears!
Take the step of spending time working on your preschoolers’ behavior. It is time for them to be a big kid and know how to handle themselves when out in public.
It will take some work, but you mamas are strong and you deserve to go shopping/run errands without your child having a meltdown every single time things don’t go their way.
How To Play Independently
Independent play can be a s struggle for some kids, especially in families where there is a regular nanny. Only because the kids get used to having someone around to play with all day, then when mom gets home they get to play with someone all evening too!
We need to allow the kids to learn to be okay playing by themselves and get their creative juices flowing!
This was important for me to teach the kids I would nanny so I would always try to implement “quite play” sometime during the day.
All you have to do is take one hour of the day dedicated for “quite” play or whatever you want to call it. This time will be for them to play by themselves or with their sibling if they are old enough.
This is will be huge in helping to build their creativity.
Instead of having mom, dad, or a nanny there to contribute to the creativity, they will have to come up with stories on their own. It may take some time for them to get used it if they have never done it, but it will be so worth it once they adjust.
There will be moments when you can sneak in and listen to them play and I guarantee it will make you smile to hear what they will come up with.
I bought puppets for the little guy I watched to help motivate some independent play and it was so fun to listen in and hear the stories he would come up with while playing.
I would put puppet shows on and for some reason we loved the story of Pinocchio so I would tell it to them with the puppets all the time. Later in the day, during quite play, I would listen to them playing and telling the story in their own creative way. I loved getting to hear the things they came up with. I think Pinocchio ended up getting eaten by an alligator in one of them!
I hope these teachable moments don’t go unnoted in your house! After watching many “under 5 year olds”, I picked the top five things I had the most fun teaching or watching them be taught by their parents.
What are some things you love to teach your preschool aged kids and that you think are important for them to learn before they start Kindergarten?
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