Before I get into my review of the KinderReady app, I have to confess something so you know what you’re getting into: I’ve basically been worrying about Ian’s kindergarten readiness since he was, um, born.
Yep. I’m that mom.
You can understand why I jumped at the chance to test out KinderReady.
Designed with a kindergarten teacher, KinderReady provides parents with daily ideas that will help get their children ready for kindergarten for a whole year. It takes the thinking and stressing and Pinterest-ing out of the equation, so parents can focus on the actual activities and experiences with their children. As it says in their app description: The truth is, you don’t need to do anything fancy to get ready for kindergarten. You just need to REMEMBER to do…SOMETHING.
Most of the activities don’t require any additional materials or purchases at all, and the few rare ones that do use items you already have in your household. KinderReady makes it as easy as possible for us parents, whose brain may never fully recover from the months years (let’s be realistic here) of sleep deprivation.
I’ve only used KinderReady for a month but already we’ve covered a variety of subjects and skills, including but not limited to language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, gross and fine motor skills, and social and emotional skills. We looked for letters everywhere we went, counted the number of objects we see, tested if an object will float or sink, played the “no thumbs!” game where we can’t use our thumbs for daily living activities, and made an art project by tearing up magazine pages then gluing them down to make a design. And we’re only one month in!
There is enough variety so that the activities don’t become repetitive, and when we see a familiar one come around (spotting a certain letter), Ian lit up with excitement because he “already knows what to do” and took great joy in explaining it to me! Some days, we can wrap up the activity in a few minutes (the “no thumbs!” game because we basically got nothing done but had lots of laughs) or it can end up being something we did on and off throughout the day (counting the number of objects we see — and this had the bonus of keeping Ian occupied during car rides).
Another nice feature is that the previous activities are available even after the day’s passed, so I can go back and reintroduce certain ones at a later time or use them as games to play while we are waiting. The counting game actually distracted Ian from asking for a candy bar while we waited in the checkout line at the grocery store, because he was too busy counting how many there were on the shelf! Yes!
KinderReady also includes a helpful “Getting Ready” checklist for the first day of school, thereby saving me a dive through Pinterest and/or Google. The list includes social and emotional tips for both the first day and the days leading up to the first day; it is exactly what I needed to read, even though we are more than a year away from Ian starting kindergarten.
And the best part was?
It’s an unexpected confidence boost for me. I’ve been worried that I wasn’t doing enough — a feeling I think most of us are familiar with — and it was nice to have some confirmation that I had been doing a good job teaching Ian. Not to mention I’ve always struggled with how to play with Ian. My husband comes up with space dinosaurs, and my idea of play is practicing phonetics (I did tell you I’m that mom). But now I feel more comfortable during our free play time and more relaxed overall.
KinderReady is truly an app designed for the parents. It is simple to use and sets everyone up for success!
KinderReady was designed with a kindergarten teacher in California to help parents remember to do activities during the day that will help children get ready for kindergarten. Most parents remember to read every day and count every once in a while, but many kids come to class with “holes” in their knowledge. You have a lot to think about besides letter recognition, shapes, colors, and teaching other kindergarten readiness skills. Let us help you with some EASY activities anyone can do! Please keep in mind that all children bloom at different times in different areas. Some activities might be too hard, and some too easy. Feel free to modify them as needed. We know the notifications aren’t rocket science, and it’s not supposed to be! We didn’t want to give you something complicated to figure out. Like parents need that in their busy days! We want to give daily REMINDERS to do SIMPLE things to help kindergarten be more successful for you and your child. This app will provide a year’s worth of notifications that promote language arts, math, social studies, arts, science, social and emotional learning, and fine and gross motor skills. We suggest doing these activities more than once.
Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
For more information,visit their Facebook page.
Already have a child who is beyond KinderReady? Check out KinderQuizzes — this app contains quizzes for kindergarteners and first graders in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, sports, foreign language and more! Many are aligned with the common core standards.