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Kindergarten Readiness

Idaho Kindergarten Readiness

Idaho Public Television’s Kindergarten Readiness program provides free, high-quality, easily accessible resources for parents and caregivers of children getting ready to start kindergarten.

Idaho teachers and parents have shared with us the challenges of ensuring young learners have developed the essential skills needed in order to start school. 

We’re here to help. Free resources include:

  • Kindergarten Readiness Kits are available on a first-come, first-served basis at kindergarten registration events at select Idaho schools.
  • Kindergarten Readiness videos in both English and Spanish on how to help your child develop fine and gross motor skills, expand their vocabulary, recognize print, learn counting and basic math concepts, practice building routines, and more.
  • PBS KIDS for Parents (also in Spanish) videos, games, crafts, and recipes reinforce essential skills and provide tools for challenges like helping kids manage stress associated with change.

IdahoPTV Kindergarten Readiness Kits

In the Community

Every year since 2020, former Idaho classroom teachers and early childhood educators on Idaho Public Television’s Education team carefully curate and assemble robust Kindergarten Readiness Kits, which we deliver for free to select schools in Idaho in coordination with schools' kindergarten registration. 

The Kindergarten Readiness Kits include:

  • Natasha Wing's popular The Night Before Kindergarten book
  • a backpack
  • children’s blunt-end scissors for safely practicing cutting paper
  • write-and-wipe sheets and markers for practicing numbers, letters, and shapes
  • crayons
  • alphabet coloring book
  • pencil
  • Play-Doh for practicing dexterity
  • Let's Get Ready for School activity cards
  • numbers flashcards
  • letters flashcards
  • grocery-store math bingo
  • Idaho State Department of Education School Readiness Guidelines to help parents ensure children learn the important skills needed to start kindergarten
     

For more information about Idaho Public Television’s Kindergarten Readiness Kits, contact Ashley Marotz, 208-373-7307, Ashley.marotz@idahoptv.org

Cara Marchbanks

Cara Marchbanks, community schools resource coordinator, Notus School District, Notus, Idaho

“We had been creating our own school readiness kits for kids starting kindergarten, but we didn’t have the proper resources,” Marchbanks says. Then, in April 2022, she met Idaho Public Television’s Family Education Specialist, who provided the school with free kindergarten readiness materials to distribute to her new students.

“I was blown away,” she says. “All the things we wanted to give to our kids, [they] had in these school readiness kits.” She adds that everything in the kit is high-quality, well-rounded, and appropriate—and straightforward for parents to use with their early learners.

Kindergarten Readiness Videos

Extending Vocabulary | Ampliando del Vocabulario
You can help your children learn new words and extend vocabulary by simply listening and talking with them every day. Explain new words when doing any activity and encourage words that describe objects and locations such as next to, behind, underneath, or inside. 

Read a variety of books so your children can hear different kinds of words. What is your child’s favorite book?

Math - Comparing | Matemáticas - Comparación

Knowing how to compare objects is an important skill for your child to practice. Comparing objects helps children begin to understand that things have similarities and difference. 

Sorting laundry is a great way to learn to compare or collect things in nature and use descriptive words to talk about which ones are smooth, rough, long, short. Compare size, texture, shape, and color to help your child.

Counting | Contando

Have you counted flowers or sticks with your kids? There are learning opportunities everywhere! You can help your child learn to count by touching objects as you count them out loud. Knowing how to count will help your child on the first day of school and all summer long!

Building Routines | Construyendo Rutinas

Knowing some letters on the first day of school will help your children succeed. Point out signs in your neighborhood, on stores, or restaurants to help your children begin recognizing that words are all around us.

Story Time Ideas | Ideas para la hora del Cuento
There are learning opportunities everywhere, like reading books every day. Children find joy in making connections between the books they read and the world around them. Reading everyday will help your child be ready for school.

Recognizing Print | Reconociendo la Letra Impresa

Knowing some letters on the first day of school will help your children succeed. Point out signs in your neighborhood, on stores, or restaurants to help your children begin recognizing that words are all around us.

Literacy Awareness of Sounds | Conciencia Literaria de los Sonidos

Did you know that pre-reading skills are built when children hear the sounds and rhythms of language? Helping children recognize different words, syllables, and sounds in language is an important step to becoming a reader. 

Understanding Emotions | Entendiendo las Emociones

Help your children learn words that describe their feelings. As Mister Rogers helped us learn, “It is okay to be mad or sad or scared. What matters most is what we do with the feelings that we have.”

Gross Motor Skills | Habilidades Motrices Generales
Playing with a purpose can help children become more confident as their bodies grow and develop. Take young children outside every day to run and play. 

Fine Motor Skills | Habilidades Motrices de Precisión
Draw, squeeze, stack, build, run pages, paint! You can help your children increase strength and build coordination by encouraging them to practice using their hands. 

More Parent Resources

Funding


From 2020 to 2022, kindergarten kits were funded in part by Idaho Future Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation. 

And in 2023 and 2024, the Micki and Dan Chapin Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation funded the creation of kits for Idaho early learners.