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Get Ready for the First Day of Kindergarten

Prepare your kindergartener for their first day at school.

Practice the following skills and activities, and you can make a tremendous impact on your kindergartener's success before their first day of school. 

In our current situation, it is important to create a "school" location in your home where your child can access their online classroom. Setting a school routine, even online will help them to get comfortable to school in a home setting.  

Health Skills

How to Wash Your Hands Transcript

Do you know how to wash your hands? First, wet your hands. Then get some soap. Rub your hands together to make a lather. Make sure you get in between your fingers and up onto your wrists. Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. It's just like singing the ABC's. (Sings "ABC" song.) Now let's rinse all the suds and the germs down the sink. Then dry your hands. And now you have clean hands!

Safety Skills

  • work on writing their first and last name, parent/guardian first and last names, home street address, telephone number
  • learn about traffic lights and crosswalks
  • know not to run across streets
  • know not to talk to strangers
  • know not to go home with friends without permission

We ask families to review the APS School Safety Procedures.


Albuquerque Public Schools strongly recommends that kindergartners never walk to and from school alone.

Children who will be riding the bus will need extra support for the first day or two. Students and/or parents that need to determine eligibility or identify current bus stop locations, pickup times, and bus number, may do so by using the MyBusStop. Learn about MyBusStop and how to use it.

You may want to bring your child to school on the first day, then have him or her ride the school bus home. Kindergarten children must be met at the bus stop every day. They will not be allowed to walk home from the bus stop alone.

Personal and Social Skills

  • develop good bathroom skills
  • develop dressing skills (zipping, buttoning and tying)
  • learn to pick up toys after play
  • learn to hold and correctly use a pencil, crayons, and scissors
  • listen to and follow directions
  • limit television watching and video games to spend more time with books and creative activities
  • use good social skills (sharing, taking turns, accepting responsibility for their own actions)
  • learn to accept others who come from different backgrounds
  • know how to sit at the table until a meal is finished
  • know how to take finished food and dishes from the table back to the kitchen
  • give them at-home responsibilities, daily chores (empty the dishwasher, feed pets, make bed, get dressed, set the table - with supervision)
  • know how to say "please", and "thank you", which will help when working with other children
  • have a set bedtime and evening routine prior to the start of school, whether virtual or face to face

Math, Reading, and Writing Skills

  • know the ten basic colors: blue, yellow, orange, purple, brown, black, green, pink, white, & red
  • be able to count to 10
  • be able to recite the ABCs (or sing the Alphabet song)
  • be able to identify body parts
  • identify shapes (square, oval, rectangle, circle, triangle, diamond)
  • sort items by size, color, shape (marbles, socks, shells, food, etc.)

Activities to Build Skills and Boost Your Student's Confidence

  • Number games - Have your child count how many plates, cups, and forks you need for dinner; count windows and doors in your home
  • Find and identify shapes - What shape is the cake pan?
  • Simple board games that require counting
  • Listen to and sing nursery rhymes and songs
  • Reading activities - read aloud, listen to books on tape, discuss the books with them
  • Access Scholastic's Learn At home PreK and Kindergarten Resources: 20 days of exciting articles, stories, videos, and fun learning challenges that can be completed at any time and in any order.
  • Bedtime Stories from Around the District