Review: Get Ready for Kindergarten

Prepare your soon-to-be kindergartner with life learning, math and reading skills with these 'Get Ready for Kindergarten' apps.

Learning Stages

By Ann Sullivan-Cross

Web Editor at LeapFrog

Ann Sullivan-Cross is LeapFrog's Web Editor, and when she's not chasing after her three kids, she's out running in the woods.

We all want our kids to start kindergarten prepared academically. We also want to prepare them for changes in routine associated with starting school. Enter Get Ready for Kindergarten, a suite of titles designed to provide key core academic and life learning skills to lay the foundation for future success. 

Get Ready for Kindergarten features cute characters and animations that take your child on adventures in literacy, math, letter learning and life skills. Each app is introduced by four animated school kids who invite your child to enter the kindergarten classroom. That’s when the learning fun begins. 

Stretchy Monkey's Super Day

We all know it isn’t always easy to get a 5- or 6-year-old started in the morning. Have no fear. Stretchy Monkey is here to infuse fun into daily routines such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, and making the bed. Your child will swing through the wilderness to collect bananas, solve puzzles and help monkey get ready for bed. As they play, kids earn stickers to decorate their nametag. This game is designed to help your child build such life skills as time management, logic and reasoning, and learning to support the daily routines of school and home.

Featured skills:

  • Logic and reasoning
  • Time and sequencing
  • Routines

Welcome to School! Ultra eBook

You’re not always able to get your child inside a kindergarten class before that first day but you can get them acquainted with the classroom environment (and build literacy skills) with this Welcome to School! app. Your child will navigate the classroom and experience the daily activities, such as circle time, show & tell, story time and more. Read along with our featured friends, Grace, Daniel, Chris and Pilar as they go through their fun-filled day, building reading skills as they go. They’ll explore letters, letter sounds and word building, the same skills that will be reinforced in kindergarten. Active letter writing, binary choices and erase board, along with fun dress-up, story building sorting games make this a truly fun and engaging app for your kindergartner.

Featured skills:

  • Listening and reading comprehension
  • Vocabulary skills
  • Word recognition

Counting at the Dragon Café

Kindergarten is the perfect time to equate math with fun in your child’s mind. What better way to do this than with a math game? Your child will help feed hungry dragons, treat them to dessert and prepare the bill using early math skills, including number recognition, writing, and simple counting with Counting at the Dragon Cafe. Players see the dragons in three environments (French Café, American Diner and German Restaurant) and then role-play as they serve their dragon customers a variety of real and silly foods. Kids will also explore and interact with their kindergarten friends and classroom items. Three mathematically themed mini-games—Dragon Feeding, Dragon Dessert, and Number Writing—keep the learning active.

Featured skills:

  • Number recognition
  • Number writing
  • Counting

Ozzie and Mack’s ABCs

Recognizing letters and letter sounds is vital to early reading and is a major part of the kindergarten learning curriculum. Give your child a head start with this Ozzie and Mack's ABCs game that builds reading skills and makes letter learning fun. Players identify letters as Ozzie Otter and Olive Owl collect leaves and snowflakes. They’ll help their insect friends cross the water and reunite with friends as they differentiate between uppercase and lowercase letters. They’ll also feed a bug with a big appetite for the alphabet by recognizing letter sounds. Finally, players will practice writing letters in the drawing area and receive instant feedback and earn reward stickers as they go. With this fun, fast-paced game your child will gain the letter learning and writing skills that research has linked to future reading and writing success. 

Featured skills: 

  • Letter recogition
  • Letter sounds
  • Writing letters

Kindergarten Preparedness

Academic success in kindergarten is a strong predictor of later academic performance. In the years leading up to kindergarten, try to foster experiences that will allow your child to develop physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively.

Here are some tips to prepare for kindergarten:

  • Try to meet your child’s teacher, as well as some of his or her peers, before the first day. Attend playdates and open houses, and talk to your child about what to expect, what they are excited and/or fearful about, and how the routine may change.

  • When practicing skills such as identifying letters and counting, have fun! Instill a love of learning, curiosity, and confidence at a young age. Look for natural ways to rehearse important skills, such as finding numbers in the environment (clocks, license plates, signs), noticing patterns (colored buttons, borders), and sounding out simple words (“STOP” on a stop sign).

  • Read with your child every day. In addition to bonding and establishing a routine, a daily diet of reading can foster vocabulary development and other early literacy skills.

At LeapFrog, we are focused on creating experiences that will help your child get ready for critical milestones, such as kindergarten. Our suite of apps and eBooks are designed to cover multi-curricular topics that your child will experience in the classroom. Look out for more titles in 2014 and beyond.