5 Tips for (Pre)School Readiness

Enrichment Therapies

July 25, 2018

Are you worried your child isn’t ready for school? After a long summer, you AND your child have to get into the school groove. Starting Preschool or Kindergarten for the first time should be a fun and new adventure!

Today we are going to talk about a few things you can start THIS summer to ensure your child gets into that school mode by the time school starts!

Tip # 1
Preschool & Kindergarten are ALL about routines! First, the children have 10 minutes of free time, next they have 30 minutes of centers and so on. One way to establish routines during the summer is to set up a visual schedule for your day. If you notice your child is having trouble transitioning from one part of the day to the next (e.g., from breakfast to running errands), try making a schedule for your day. Check out a more in-depth look at how to make a schedule here:

Therapy Talk: How to Make a Visual Schedule

First/Then Schedules

Tip #2
Following Directions
This is one of the most important skills a young child learns. It is one thing to follow directions at home, but a totally different task when a child is in a busy school setting. Start by working with your child on simple 1-step directions (e.g., “Close your eyes”.) At first, you may need to show your child pictures or use gestures that go along with what you want them to do. Next, move to more complex 2-step directions (e.g., “Close your eyes, then say hello”). Once your child has mastered following 2-step directions without any distractions, try asking them to follow a direction when they are engaged in a preferred activity (e.g., playing with trucks). See if your child is still able to remember all of the parts or too focused on the toy.

For a more in-depth look at following directions, check out these blogs:

Following Directions Made Fun!

Following Multi Step Directions

Tip # 3
Letters/ Sounds
The preschool curriculum revolves around letters and sounds! It is very important to start working with your child early on these skills so that they have some foundational skills when entering preschool.

  • Most letter names give the child a clue to what the sound will be, for example, the letter “P” has the /p/ sound at the beginning of the name of the letter, it makes sense to learn them together.
  • Teach both upper and lower case letters in pairs, but focus on the lower case letters first. Lower case letters are more commonly seen in print.
  • Expose your child to letters and their sounds throughout the day. For example, say the name of the toy as you play. If you are playing with dolls, you might say, “Dolls, d- d- doll that starts with the /d/ sound, letter D!

For more information on Letters/ Sounds, check out these awesome blogs:

Tips for Learning Letter Names and Sounds

Cookie Sheet Literacy

Therapy Talk: Phonics Much Letterstone Park App

Tip # 4
Numbers/ Counting

Numbers! Similar to letters/sounds, preschool is VERY focused on NUMBERS! Luckily, numbers can be found everywhere and are easy to incorporate into daily routines!

  • Count your pieces of food. Ask your child, “How many apple slices do you have?” Next, slowly go through and count the slices. After your child eats one, find out how many are left!
  • Count the toys you are playing with. Parents can practice counting out loud while playing with your child.
  • Songs! Just as you might sing the ABC’s with your child, try singing from 1-10.

For more information and ideas, please check out these awesome blogs:

Counting with Beads

5 Effective Math Manipulatives and How to Use Them

Tip # 5
Turn-taking with Communication
Turn-taking is part of the “hidden curriculum.”  Though it may not be explicitly taught, it is something that children NEED to learn. In preschool/ kindergarten, turn-taking will be practiced repeatedly.  Turn-taking and communication is all about reciprocating. I talk and you respond, you talk and I respond. Try practicing turn-taking in play. For example, if you are playing with baby dolls, first you will feed the baby doll, and then your child will feed the baby doll. Remember to narrate what you are doing! This not only teaches turn-taking, which is an important component of communication, it also encourages shared play and attention.

For more information check out this awesome blog:

Social Communication: What Your Child Should Know and When

Do you think your child may be struggling in a typical school classroom? Are you already feeling discouraged? Perhaps it’s time to think about a new avenue of learning. Our LEAP & eLEAP classroom will help your child love learning again.

What is eLEAP?
Our eLEAP program is designed as a structured learning center for kids who have difficulties in the area of speech and language development.  We start with a language enriched circle time where skills such as letter identification, number identification, story comprehension, counting, and math skills are addressed.  The session also includes more structured learning time where specific reading and math strategies can be utilized for each child’s abilities.  We implement visual schedules and visual prompts to help keep the child on task and transition from activity to activity more easily.  The activities are designed to be fun and interactive.  Children will feel like they are playing!

Our Program

We utilize a visual schedule and visual prompts to help keep the children on task and make each session productive and enriching.   We implement fun brain breaks in order to release some energy, encourage interaction with peers, and prepare the children for more learning.
Research-proven strategies are utilized during these sessions, including the Talkies program (the preschool version of Visualizing and Verbalizing), Seeing Stars (reading/decoding program), vowel recognition strategies, Handwriting Without Tears, 5 Point Scale for behavior and emotional regulation, PROMPT (for articulation) and more…

Skills addressed in a fun and interactive, yet structured model.

  • Letter and corresponding sound identification
  • Basic reading skills
  • Number identification and understanding what each number represents
  • Basic addition facts
  • Vocabulary expansion
  • Following directions
  • Prep and practice with attention to tasks
  • Improving interactions and communication with peers


Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.


740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317



5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


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