I love being a Kindergarten teacher! For me, I love creating kindergarten activities, kindergarten learning games, and a kindergarten readiness checklist that sets kids up for success! As a parent, preparing for Kindergarten is always a stress. How will they go to the restroom on their own? Will they make friends? Are their clothing readiness skills for kindergarten strong enough so they can independently get ready for outdoor play (that’s the long way of saying, can they get dressed for recess on their own)? Ah so many worries before our babies are off to the real world for the first time! So how do us Kindergarten teachers do it? How do we get 24+ tiny little ones to do anything?! Well, as I mentioned, I love kindergarten readiness checklists and I love kindergarten learning games. I love them because they WORK.
One season that has always been tricky is winter! Managing 24+ kids for 3 recesses a day was hard, so I decided I had to create a clothing readiness skill for kindergarten winter. This Kindergarten readiness checklist helps with daily routine for kids, adaptive sills, and emotional regulation skills. Without it, chaos. With it, smooth sailing! (well….kinda ;). I usually introduce the unit with winter theme sight words! Such a fun way to “bring in” winter!
I am a big believer that clothing readiness skills for kindergarten is a huge component to the Kindergarten program and helps with self-help skills for Kindergarten. When I first introduce our winter theme unit, as a class, we brainstorm what a winter self-care checklist would look like. We also talk about about what we need to help us properly dress for the snow and cold! Through brainstorming and talking, I believe it develops strong self-help skills will help us grow into big, strong Kindergarteners. I really believe that using the clothing readiness skills for kindergarten winter cards really help with building confidence and independence.
I always print and laminate all of my resources so that I don’t have to worry as much about things getting ruined. It also helps with the longevity of kindergarten learning games! I love having a center for the kindergarten readiness checklist, where students can go the center on their own and learn what they need to do in to strengthen their self-development skills. My students LOVED using the winter theme task cards and putting them in order. I made one section for “getting dressed” and one section for “getting undressed.” I also made a hands on sequencing activity where students cut out the pictures and put them in the correct order.
This sequencing activity can be done in two ways. First, they cut out the pictures and and paste them down in the correct order. If the pictures are laminated, have them put them in order with velcro. For many students, they love using the tactile sensation of taking on and off the velcro.
The same pattern would be applied to how to take off your winter gear. I know this seems simple for some, but for many this is complicated and can be overwhelming. Using something tactile is so helpful in helping students achieve these goals.
I love printing the small sized kindergarten winter checklists and I put them up on my kids cubbies and I even sometimes let the kids take them home. I find that when I put them up on the cubbies, it reinforces emotional regulation skills and ability to solidify self-help skills for kids.
I do have to admit though that while these kindergarten readiness activities are very helpful in creating a more focused and organized classroom, the winter craziness of getting in and out of our winter clothes is still a challenge! At least this self-care checklist helps with the daily routine!
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