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Keene Public Library

Preparing for Kindergarten


Read to your child daily. A child that is read has advantages. As you read and talk about books with your child, they will develop the skills needed to become a successful reader. 

Stop by the Keene Public Library Youth Department to pick up a free 100 Picture books to Read in Kindergarten poster. The poster lists some of the best picture books to read to kindergartners. 

The more you read, the more prepared your young student will be to

  • Learn the names and sounds of letters.
  • Understand that printed words are made up of different sounds.
  • Notice that words and sentences have meaning.
  • Learn about the printed page and that we read from left to right and from top to bottom.
  • Increase vocabulary - especially less common words that are not typically used in everyday conversation.
  • Become familiar with new concepts and ideas.
  • Develop comprehension skills.
  • Practice spoken language and thinking skills as you talk about the books you have read together.
  • Discover the pleasure of reading.
  • Develop into a life-long learner.


Your kindergartner will enjoy picture books but don't limit yourself to just the Picture Book Area of the library. Children can listen to and understand books well beyond their reading level. This is why reading is so crucial to vocabulary development. 

Your kindergartner may enjoy listening to chapter books, nonfiction books, graphic novels, and magazines. Remember to preview material to ensure that it is on your child's emotional level.

To help you select the very best books for kindergarteners, the Keene Public Library offers two suggested book lists and posters: "100 Picture Books to Read in Kindergarten" and "100 More Picture Books to Read in Kindergarten." 


  • Before you begin reading a book, tell your child the book's title and the author's name. Spend some time looking at the cover illustration. Ask your child what they think the story will be about. 
  • Recent research demonstrates that the most effective read-alouds are those in which children are actively involved in the read-aloud. These read-alouds, called dialogic reading, result in significant gains in vocabulary and comprehension.
  • You can make reading interactive and more beneficial by doing these simple things:
  • Ask your child to predict what they think will happen next. This sort of analytic thinking is crucial for accelerating literacy development. Encourage predictions or inferences that explain a character's motivation or connect events from different parts of the story.
  • Point out new information as you read.
  • Relate your child's experience to action in the book.
  • Have your child turn the pages of the book.
  • After you've read a book, start a conversation about the story. Talking about books that you shared helps your child develop comprehension and thinking skills.
  • Encourage your child to retell or act out the story.
  • Reading the same book repeatedly or reading several books on the same topic can benefit your child's literacy development.
  • Some find it hard to sit still and listen to a story. If this happens to you and your child, try giving your child paper and crayons. Ask them to draw as you read.


  • Play rhyming games with your child. Rhyming activities help children hear the separate sounds that make up words.
  • Have fun with tongue twisters. Alliteration, or the repetition of the same sound at the beginning of words, helps your child understand that sounds combine to make words.
  • Make an "I Did It Myself" poster for your refrigerator or your child's room. Celebrate all of the things that your child has learned to do on their own by writing those things on the chart: "Put on my shoes," "Brush my teeth," Button my shirt," Zip my backpack," and "Ride my tricycle." 
  • Play school with your child. Take turns being the teacher. Ride in the bus or car, read stories, sing songs, draw pictures, play outdoors, eat lunch with lunch boxes on a tray, and play games. Pretend to take your child to school. With your child, think of lots of ways to say goodbye. Decide how you will say goodbye to each other on the first day of kindergarten.
  • Visit your child's school and preview school activities. Explore the classroom. Look at the books and materials, find out where the children store backpacks and hang coats.
  • Find out about the daily schedule for your child's class. For example, when do they have storytime, lunch, outdoor play, and rest time? Point out the restrooms, the water fountains, the lunchroom, the playground, the principal's office, the nurse's office, the media center, and other special features of your school.
  • Once school starts, remember to maintain predictable family routines. Establish a regular bedtime for your child. We are healthier when we go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day. Before bedtime, talk with your child about what clothes they will wear tomorrow. Be sure that everything is ready. 


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