Kindergarten Preparation Starts at Birth

Kindergarten Preparation Starts at Birth

by Melissa Vulopas, Elementary School Academic Learning Facilitator

From birth, babies are curious. They develop a solid foundation for learning through everything they experience. For parents of newborns, kindergarten is a concern for the future, but research shows that children are better prepared for success in kindergarten when their development is nutured from birth. Parents can support early science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills through fun routines each day. Such STEM skills as measurement, patterns, and early literacy pave the way for success in kindergarten and beyond!

Research in recent years has emphasized the power of early education. We all want the best for our little ones. Starting early to prepare for kindergarten does not mean learning kindergarten skills in infancy and early childhood. It involves preparing children for the skills they will learn in kindergarten.


Investigating the size and weight of objects allows babies to develop the STEM skill of measurement. For example, babies can begin to understand distance when they realize that they must adjust their position to grab something they want. By placing one toy close by and one a bit farther away, a parent can introduce the idea of distance. Add language to the baby’s actions. The more they hear, the more connections they make. “Wow, you are reaching far for your bear!” Comparing objects is another way to develop measurement. “The red block is much bigger than the green one.”



Babies begin to make sense of math and science when they predict what comes next. A pattern is something that repeats more than once — black, red, black, red. Routines help babies feel safe and secure, and they also build an early understanding of patterns. A routine offers a pattern for babies. They feel secure when they experience the same events daily and also establish a beginning awareness of patterns. Try putting your routine to words: “Bath time! Here’s our routine: Get wet, get soapy, dry off.” To further develop patterns, don’t forget to sing! Share songs that have repetitive patterns like, “Happy and You Know It” and “This Old Man.”


What are early literacy skills?

These are the reading awareness skills that help develop success with printed material. When babies see a parent reading, they activate early literacy skills. Read to your baby. Your baby likes to hear your voice! Let your baby see you hold the book and turn the pages. Pass your finger under the words from left to right. It doesn’t always have to be a children’s storybook you share. You might read an article from a magazine out loud. You are giving yourself some time to read something you enjoy while providing a benefit to your baby at the same time.

Early development plays a crucial role in later academic success. Kindergarten readiness is built on skills and events that children encounter as infants.