This post is on kindergarten transition tips and something I did when my oldest (now a 2nd grader) was going into kindergarten to help her with the transition. Now my youngest will be going to kindergarten next year, and I am organizing the same kindergarten summer play group for her this summer.
At our preschool, the kids all go on to different kindergartens because there are a large number of both private and public schools close by. Very few kids from her preschool actually go on to our specific elementary school.
By organizing a summer play group of kids going to the same kindergarten in the fall, it’s a way for the kids to meet some new friends and have some familiar faces on the playground once the school year starts.
Here are some kindergarten transition tips on how to organize your own group for summer.
Organize a Kindergarten Summer Play Group
1. Find one mom to be the organizer (you?!)
2. Set up a shared online spreadsheet of people who want to join.
I like to use Google Docs. You can also create your own spreadsheet to email, I just find an online sign up sheet is easiest. In the top columns I list: Parent’s Names, Child’s Name Going to Kinder, Boy/Girl?, Current Preschool, Email Address, Best Cell, Address, Siblings and Ages, If On Facebook Name to Friend
On the Sharing Settings, I select, “Share with anyone with the link.” This means if you share the link, people will be able to enter in their information, and see the other people’s information. Don’t set it to public.
3. Start spreading the word (and the spreadsheet) around.
I started by emailing the spreadsheet to a handful of people I knew with kindergarteners going to our school next year, and told them to send it to anyone they know with kids also going. I also tried to find one person at each of the local preschools in our area with a child going to our school so they could keep their ears open.
I would get this process going now, so that you can get a list together by the start of summer. My Kindergarten Meet Up Group for this summer already has 31 kids in it! It’s amazing how quickly it can grow.
Summer Play Dates
Once summer arrives, you can send out a Doodle.com poll to see what days/times seem to work best for the majority of the people. Then, all you have to do is pick a date and a place to meet up! Local parks, beach, bay, you name it.
If your particular school is open during the summer, meeting at the school playground is also a great idea.
I like doing an Evite.com invite for the events because it avoids the mass email and responses. Plus, then people can easily see who is going.
For the first get together, even though it is dorky, I like doing name tags for the kids and for the adults because it is hard to keep everyone’s names straight if you have a big group. People tend to be really open (and appreciative) of this idea. Either that, or they are humoring me.
Elementary School is a Family Journey
The elementary years are a journey, one you will experience with the same families for years to come. It’s really nice to get a head start on meeting some of these families and to see some smiling faces both you and your child recognize on the first day.
Do you have any kindergarten transition tips to share? Would love to hear them!