School Readiness Activities

Social interaction and play

Play dates: create opportunities for your child to interact with other children of a similar age through play dates and playgroups.

Board games: play board games with your child to teach turn taking, sharing, waiting and the ability to cope when one does not win.

Role play: spend 20-30 minutes every day interacting and playing with your child. During these opportunities model language that would be suitable to use in certain real-life situations (e.g., if playing with a toy kitchen, talk about what you do when preparing food).


Books: read to your child every day to expose them to different language concepts.

Vocabulary: when reading books ask your child to point to/name different pictures to expand their vocabulary.

Walks: when going for a walk point to items and name them. Talk about the weather or things you notice on your walk.

Daily activities: when engaging in daily activities, such as preparing a bath, setting the table, preparing dinner or getting dressed, model the language that your child can use/understand in these situations (e.g., preparing the bath: turn the taps on. Put the plug in. Pour the bubbles in. Take your clothes off. Get into the bath).

Following instructions: during daily activities encourage your child to follow two-three step     instructions (e.g., put your hat on and then get into the car).

Dinner talk: at the dinner table take it in turns to talk about what you have done during the day.

Colours and Shapes: talk about different colours and shapes.

Concepts: talk about different concepts such as big/little; over/under; behind/next to; short/tall.

Model: when your child uses incorrect grammar or sentence structure, model back to them the correct way of saying it (e.g., “her is happy!”, “Yes, she is happy. I wonder why she is happy?”).


Feelings: talk about feelings with your child. Their feelings, your own, other family members. This supports children in being able to recognise certain emotions, name these emotions, and give them the tools to manage these feelings.

Identify emotions: verbalise when you see certain emotions in people.

Facial expressions: comment on facial expressions when reading books and talk about the way the person might be feeling and why.

Explain emotions: talk about ways to express different emotions (e.g., you are laughing because you are happy, or you are crying because you are upset).


Read to your child every day to promote a joy in sharing stories. Point to the words in the books as you read them. Following the story, have a discussion about the events which took place.

Independent selection: encourage your child to choose a book to read at story time and ask them to explain their choice.

Sing songs and nursery rhymes.

Alphabet: learn the alphabet song.

Rhyming books: read books that have rhyming words in them (e.g., Dr Seuss books).

Games: play games such as “I spy” to support children in thinking about objects which start with a specific sound (e.g., “I spy with my little eye something that starts with….”)

Fine motor

Cutting and pasting use cardboard (easier to hold) to cut out geometric shapes and make pictures.

Drawing and colouring: encourage pencil control and improve endurance for pencil skills.

Mazes: this is a fun way to engage in pencil control as well as developing visual perception.

Physical skills

Wheelbarrow walking races for upper body strength.

Animal walks: pretending to be a variety of animals such as: crab, frog, bear, worm, and encourage children to move as these animals would. All of these will encourage children to use their weight as resistance.