Prep for Kindergarten with Family Fun
Prep for kindergarten is fun for the whole family with these outings around Louisville.
This article is especially for the parents of preschoolers. Preparing for kindergarten isn’t a grueling task involving workbooks and flashcards. You can prep for kindergarten while having family fun all around Louisville. Here are some ideas that are elementary school teacher approved!
Louisville Zoo: Not only will you and your child get exercise and have a great time being outdoors, there is so much to learn here and your child won’t even realize it! Be sure to check the times for animal trainings to learn even more! We like to pick certain exhibits to focus on each time we go and skip others. It allows more time to learn, explore and watch the animals as they move around their exhibits. Your child can bring a notebook and pencil for drawing pictures of his/her favorite animals!
Kentucky Science Center: On the 3rd Thursday of every month from 5-7pm there is a special FREE program for kids ages 0-4. It is closed to the public during this time, so it is a great chance for your child to get to experience hands on activities without older children getting in their way. STEM (Science, technology, engineering, math) activities have become a large part of elementary school classrooms, so this is a great way to prep for kindergarten. You receive cards to take home which incorporate science activities into your time at home!
Public Story Times: Pottery Barn Kids– Tuesdays at 11, Louisville Free Public Library– weekly at various branches, Barnes and Noble– Saturdays at 11. Carmichael’s Kids– Every Thursday at 11am and Friday at noon. Learning to sit, listen and follow directions is a huge part of preschool and getting ready for kindergarten – why not practice those skills while getting to listen to stories, sing songs, and participate in other fun activities? This is a great way to focus on those pre-reading skills as your children get ready for school. The more exposure children have to literacy at a young age, the more successful they will be throughout their education.
Louisville Nature Center: Learning can occur both inside and outside! In the lobby, there are great hands on activities for your little ones to explore and learn. Outside, there is a bird blind where they can watch and find out more about various birds. My kids have always loved seeing the squirrels up close as well. We even got the opportunity to see a deer once! Prep for kindergarten by learning to make some basic scientific observations. Check out their website and sign up for their email list, as they often have family activities and guided hikes to participate in.
Speed Art Museum: This may not sound like a great place to take young kids, but they have an area called Art Sparks that is great for kids! My children have spent hours here exploring. The space is divided into three sections that focus on noticing, making, and talking about art. I love that my kids and I can work together at Art Sparks. There is also a special room dedicated just for preschool aged kids, with many special programs throughout the year. Schedule here.
Heartland Music Together: Register for a fun parent/child music class. Learn new songs, sing and make rhythm with instruments. It is a great opportunity to work on sharing, listening, sitting and following directions, and it is all hands-on and in a way that your child will enjoy! It is a great precursor to instrumental lessons your child may take as he/she gets older.
Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve: Head a little outside of Louisville to Oldham County for hiking and nature exploration. During select hours you can also visit the Nature Center building which features wetland and woodland creature displays, fossils and rocks, Kentucky fish, a Native American setting, an observation bee hive and a bird blind. Be sure to hike to the frog pond (we’ve even seen a turtle laying eggs next to the pond!). The best way to learn is through experience. And of course, take time to visit the new playground to work on those gross motor skills!
Preschool Explorers and Toddler Time at New Albany Floyd County Library: Take a quick trip across the 2nd street bridge to enjoy story time, plus science and other activities at the library! They have special dedicated times just for preschoolers and toddlers. I love this option because it adds other subjects other than reading into their story time and you get to be in a different environment. If you have time, take the time to head to Pizza King (review here) or Polly’s Freeze (review here) for lunch!
KMAC Museum: Similar to the Speed, you may wonder why you’d want to go to an art museum, but they too have a great area for kids to explore and learn through art! It can be as basic as drawing and coloring, using stencils (helping those fine motor skills!), and building with blocks, or taking it to another level with their many different activities designed especially for kids!
Falls of the Ohio State Park: Take time to explore inside the interpretive center to see fossils and learn some history and/or head outside to see the river and their exposed fossil bed. Inside, they have specific activities for each age group. Outside, you can explore the river, the fossils, even take a hike and investigate in the gardens! See what insects you can find among the flowers! This activity is geared more towards the older preschooler getting ready to head to kindergarten.
Side by Side Studio: Not only do they have camps during the summer and birthday parties throughout the year, but they frequently have classes for children and families of all ages! They have open studio for ages 2 to 8 every Friday from 10 to 11am, with added days in the summer. This is a great time for your child to have an endless amount of crafting and art supplies to investigate and create. Prep for kindergarten by getting practice with scissors, glue, markers and more!
By Guest Contributor: Lauren