This week Jack did a preschool screening which tests children’s abilities in their fine motor skills by an occupational therapist and language skills by a speech pathologist. They do simple tests that involve playing to see what level of motor skills they have. I definitely recommend it if you have the chance. Calgary and area has a company called I’m For Kids Team who does screening. All the screening is free for kids who are 4 before they get to kindergarten. This way, if your child needs some help, the company has funding to help your child learn the things they need to learn before kindergarten.
I have to say, it was very stressful watching Jack do the tests and not being able to help him. When they get questions wrong, you wonder if you’ve failed as a parent. But, I loved that I now know what to work on with him this year before he gets to kindergarten.
Jack ended up passing both the tests with the occupational therapist and the speech pathologist, but he still has some things to work on, like holding a pencil, and cutting with scissors.
So, here are some things you can work on with your kids to prepare them, based on the tests I saw!
Fine Motor Skills
- get your child to trace lines ( horizonally, vertically, and circles and squares)
- make sure they know how to hold a pencil properly
- teach your child how to hold scissors and use them
- get them to cut lines, circles and squares
- draw a box and get your child to color in the box
- using 3-6 blocks, get your child to copy your block structures
- examples are four blocks that make a square, two blocks on the bottom and one on top, three in a line, and whatever else you want.
- once they get that, get them to make it without watching you make it
- pick up small items like beads and put them into a container
- get your child to pull buttons out of thier holes, and then put them back in. Use big buttons!
- fold a piece of paper and get them to fold thier own paper to make the same shape.
- Let them watch you do it, and then just show them a folded paper. See if they can make it without help!
- look at photos and get your child to say the word.
- look at 4 photos and ask your child to find a specific thing
- examples would be four pictures of a chair, apple, bed and teddybear and asking your child to find something that you can eat
- know tenses (past, present, future) She will go to bed. He will go to bed.
- Know pronouns (he/she/him/her) He is a boy. She is a girl.
- Know verbs. (He is running. She is swimming.)
Check out this website called Speech and Language Kids as they have great information on what your child needs to know at each age.