Brain Games to Prepare Children for Kindergarten Over the Summer

Entering kindergarten is an important milestone in your child’s academic journey. Kindergarten teaches young children the basic skills and habits that they will need to succeed as they continue through elementary school, high school, and beyond.

These basic skills include interpersonal communication, sharing, respect for others, listening and waiting their turn. These are skills that you can begin to teach your children at home to prepare them for their kindergarten classes. Below is a list of simple puzzles and games to play with your children that will help teach them the basic skills they need for their upcoming school year, and provide hours of fun as a family.

Tic-Tac-Toe

Tic-tac-toe is a simple game that you can play almost anywhere – a rainy afternoon at home, during a long car ride, or even at a restaurant while you wait for your food – all you need is paper and a pen.

Skills: This simple game of tic-tac-toe helps build early math and reasoning skills your child will build upon in their early education. This game will begin to build their skills in recognizing patterns, counting, problem-solving and strategy.

20 Questions

Think of something – a person, character, place, or thing – that your child would know well. Now have them ask you a series of questions, up to 20, about the item until they guess it! You can even turn it around so that you are asking them questions about an item of their choice.

Skills: This game is great for expanding vocabulary and communication skills, as well as critical thinking skills and problem-solving. By flipping the roles and asking your child the questions about an item of their choice, you will also provide the opportunity for them to practice leadership and responsibility.

Duck, Duck, Goose

This is a great game to play with the whole family, or even with your child’s friends on a play date. Assemble everyone in a circle and assign the first goose. Children often particularly enjoy this game as it is more interactive and physical than many other brain games.

Skills: This game allows children to practice a variety of skills including listening, waiting their turn, and sharing. It also teaches them impulse control and delayed gratification; two very important self-regulation skills they will need in the classroom.

Find the Coin

Use a coin and a common household item – could be a small cup or even a packet of sugar – to set up a sleight-of-hand style game you would find at a carnival. Have your child watch you place the coin under one of the items, then slowly begin to move the items around into a different order while your child tries to follow the item hiding the coin. Once you have rearranged the items, have them guess which one the coin is placed under. Begin slowly, and build up speed after multiple rounds to increase difficulty and their interest in the game.

Skills: Following the coin and trying to rationalize where it ended up builds your child’s problem-solving skills. This game also teaches them to use their imagination and make educated guesses when they may not know the answer.

St-Laurent Academy offers industry-leading early primary private school programs and elementary school programs to prepare your child for a successful academic career. Space is limited, so book a visit today.