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Build Your Child’s Test Readiness Skills through Off Line Activities

Build Your Child’s Test Readiness Skills through Off Line Activities

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - April 28th, 2016

As you know I’m a big proponent of using both on-line and off-line activities to prepare your child for testing and school success. 

Build Your Child’s Test Readiness Skills through Off Line Activities

For on-line preparation, nothing beats for practice tests, educational games and lessons for every aspect of kindergarten readiness. Right now, we’re having a big sale where you can become a top member for a super low price!  Be sure to check that out and take advantage of our special sale price (which will end soon).

One question people ask me most often is “what kind of off-line activities can I be doing now with my toddler so we’ll be ready for kindergarten in a few years?”

Below is a list of things you can start doing with your two, three or four-year-old. Your child won’t be able to do all these things at two or perhaps three. But you can try them out and introduce them when your child is ready. These activities will prepare your child for any test he may have to take to get into a private school. Even if your child is going to a school where she doesn’t need to test her way in, doing these are great for kindergarten readiness.


  • Get Richard Scarry’s Best First Book Ever. If your child genuinely knows the material in this book, he’ll be ready for any test he’ll have to take for kindergarten ever. This book is a wonderful summary of what a child should know by the time he’s about five. All of Richard Scarry’s other books are excellent teaching tools. Of course, reading as much and as often as you can to your child is one of the best things you can do together.


  • Talk to your child all the time about whatever you’re doing. “I’m making a cake. Which bowl should I use for the ingredients?” “Look at that red fire engine that just went by.” Point things out like fruits and vegetables at a store, or the colors of anything you see or what materials things are made of.


  • Play a game with your child – How are these things alike? How are a ball and a doll alike? How are a coat and pants alike? What is the same about a banana and an apple?


  • If your child enjoys this, get age appropriate workbooks and do them together.


  • Pick up an age appropriate set of Brain Quest cards. Book stores have them. Do these together. This is great for test preparation and kids love doing them.


  • Play “I spy” – “I spy something that’s red, round, and crunchy.” “I spy something soft, white, and on the bed.”


  • Always talk to your child about why you are doing what you’re doing. “Let’s put your coat on so you can be warm when we go outside.” “We’re going to the dentist so he can clean your teeth.” This builds language, vocabulary, comprehension and knowledge abilities.


  • Teach your child about basic math principles by showing him what “one” looks like (one penny, one apple), “two” (two nickels, two forks), and so on. Lots of kids know how to count to ten but they have no idea what the numbers mean. Once she understands what one, two, and three are, you can show her how adding two pennies and three pennies together make five pennies.


  • Play with parquetry blocks. Make a design and have your child copy it. Let your child make a design and you copy it.


  • Do puzzles with your child. This builds visual-spatial reasoning skills. Play dominoes. This builds math skills.  Play tic-tack-toe.  This builds strategic thinking skills.


  • Work with your child on holding a pencil and drawing basic shapes like lines, circles and triangles. If you give your child a very short pencil, it helps him learn the mature pencil grasp. Draw and color with your child at home. This builds fine motor skills.


  • String beads with your child. You can make a pattern and have her copy it with her beads.


  • Go to the zoo, the park, museums, children’s plays and concerts. Take a boat trip, study the leaves, ride bikes – experience life together.

Obviously there are a million other activities you can do, but these are some of my favorite off-line activities where your child will learn and the two of you will have fun together at the same time. Mix these up with lessons and practice questions from  And if your child has to be tested, he or she will do fine.

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