Activities to try with your child before starting school

Getting them prepared for the big day ...
Getting them prepared for the big day ... 

Below are some suggested activities to do with your child before starting school to make school a little easier for them.

Language skills

• read books together

• sing songs together

• have fun with rhymes and jokes

• give simple instructions to follow, e.g. how to pack their school bag

• identify pictures in books, magazines, on television or the internet

• have your child ask and answer questions

• encourage your child to join in conversations with a range of people

Writing skills

• practise drawing, scribbling or writing with pencils, crayons, paintbrushes on paper or with sticks in sand
• write numbers and letters

• encourage your child to use a capital letter to start their name e.g. Max

• encourage your child to trace, copy and/or write their name

Mathematics skills

• encourage your child to talk about numbers using words such as many, a lot, more, less

• help them to find things in a group that are different, or the same, such as shapes or colours

• talk about opposites

• involve your child in everyday counting activities such as setting the table

Personal/social skills

• organise times for your child to play with other children so that they can learn to share and take turns

• encourage them to tidy up after playing

• help them to learn to say their full name and phone number

• make them aware of rules and the reasons for having them.

Physical skills

• help them to hold scissors and cut and paste pictures

• encourage play with building blocks and puzzles

• let them play at the park

• play hopping and skipping games

• encourage your child to move and dance to music

Keep playing
Play is one of the most important needs children have and play is still vital for children once they start school. Children play because it is fun, but as they play they are actually learning. When children play they are using their bodies and their imagination, learning to communicate and cooperate, manage their feelings and understand how things work. They also gain confidence from trying new skills and improving them. Children need time after each school day to relax and play.

Information from For more educational resources, visit the NSW education department website for parents, School A-Z.