Sign up

New Student? Prepare Your Child for Success

At the Calgary Board of Education, each child is welcomed into the classroom as a unique individual. As you and your child begin to prepare for the start of Kindergarten or Grade 1, there are many things you can do together in the summer to make your child feel as comfortable as possible about starting school.

Lend a listening ear

Talk with your child about everyday activities. Ask your child questions (who, what, where, when, why, how) and really listen to the responses. You can also talk to your child about starting school. Helping your child feel excited about this new adventure will make a positive difference.

Share special activities such as walks to the park and talk about what you are seeing and doing.

Read different types of books such as picture books, information books, nursery rhymes and poetry. Encourage your child to talk about the stories as you read together. Read books about starting school. Reading stories together will help your child develop strong oral language skills, which will contribute to success in school. Your community public library is a great resource for young children.

Talk, read, sing and play in your first language, every day.

Play together

Research has consistently proven that play is key to healthy development and learning for young children.

Make use of props and toys. Blocks, magnetic letters and play dough are just some examples of toys and props that support imaginative play and can be accessed relatively inexpensively.

Set up playdates for your child and take play outdoors.

Positive, warm and affectionate interactions between parent and child lead to continued healthy brain development.

Explore and discover

Explore the schoolyard and playground of your child’s school so it will feel familiar when school starts.

Explore letters, numbers and words in playful ways such as through songs and rhymes.

Encourage your child to begin experimenting with independence. Dressing themself, cleaning up toys, helping out in small ways at home and using the bathroom independently are just a few examples.

Practice using scissors, pencils, crayons and play dough helps prepare your child for drawing and writing.

Help your child learn their first and last name, telephone number and/or address. This is important from a safety perspective.

Take breaks

Young children are busy and their minds are always active. Plan breaks, rests and quiet times each day to contribute to healthy growth and development.

Develop a good bedtime routine; five-year-old children need approximately 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night.

At the CBE, our priority is to create learning experiences that are personalized for each child so that students are engaged, inspired and prepared to learn to their full potential.

As your child’s first teacher, you know your child best. Your child’s strengths and interests will provide the classroom teacher with invaluable insight. This helps schools and teachers prepare for your child’s success
in school.

Interested in finding out more? Visit for more information about Kindergarten at the CBE and for the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s ‘Message in a Backpack’ for Parents.

For more information on the Calgary Board of Education, visit


Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2024 Calgary’s Child