UPDATED 5/2/19! Fairfax Early Childhood Partnership's May 5-4-3-2-1 Early Childhood Tips for Today!

Supporting a Preschooler's Successful Transition to Kindergarten

(updated 5/2/19)

Learn more about kindergarten in FCPS. 

5 Things to Know or Do 5 Things to Know or Do:

  1. Connect families with their child’s base school.  Encourage families to attend orientation. Families will also want to ask about summer activities for rising kindergartners. This will help begin building positive relationships before the first day of school.
  2. Talk to children about starting kindergarten. Have children share their feelings and ask questions too. If possible, visit a kindergarten classroom.
  3. Read stories about kindergarten, and/or create a class book about kindergarten.  Include photos of the schools children will be entering in the fall. As children gain knowledge, plan dramatic play activities related to the kindergarten experience.
  4. Provide activities that support the development of children’s self-regulation skills
  5. Work with each child’s base school by sharing information about rising kindergarten students. Talk about children’s strengths, areas in need of extra support, and strategies that have been successful in the early childhood setting. This can help ensure a smooth transition.

4 Children Read Alouds 4 Children Read Alouds

  1. Cover image for The kissing hand The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. (FCPS | Public Library) School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester's fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary.
  2. Cover image for Rocking in my school shoes Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by James Dean. (FCPS | Public Library) Pete the Cat is rocking in his school shoes. Pete discovers the library, the lunch room, the playground, and lots of other cool places at school. And no matter where he goes, Pete never stops moving and grooving and singing his song...because it’s all good.
  3. Cover image for Kindergarten rocks! Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis. (FCPS | Public Library)

    Dexter is ready for kindergarten. Sort of. Well, actually, he's maybe kind of a little bit scared, perhaps even terrified, one might say. This book tackles a problem every kid--and parent--has to face sooner or later: first-day fears. And it shows that it's okay to be scared, but that, as Dexter's older sister Jessie says, "Kindergarten rocks!"

  4. Cover image for On the way to kindergarten On the Way to Kindergarten by Virginia Kroll. (FCPS | Public Library)

    Celebrating the first five years of a young life as the great milestones, such as singing the ABCs, riding a carousel, and knowing the days of the week, are presented by a proud parent to his child as he heads to kindergarten to face his next great task and accomplishment.

3 Links to Visit 3 Links to Visit

  1. Fairfax Futures: Paving the Way to Kindergarten (PDF)
  2. National Association for the Education of Young Children: Transitioning to Kindergarten
  3. National Association for the Education of Young Children: Transitions to Kindergarten

2 Points to Access Research 2 Videos to View

  1. Stepping Into Kindergarten
  2. Transitions from the Children's Perspectives

1 Video to View 1 Point to Access Research

  1. University of Chicago: Research Report: A Community Effort to Support the Transition from Pre-K to Kindergarten (PDF)