The Benefits of Kindergarten


Kindergarten helps children make the transition from education at home or in preschool to classroom learning with a teacher and other students. The experience also builds kids’ confidence and self-worth.

German pedagogue Friedrich Froebel founded the first kindergartens in 1837. The word means “garden for children.” He was inspired by a philosophy that believed that play was the way kids learn best.

Language and Literacy

Creating literacy-rich experiences can help students acquire the reading skills they need to become proficient readers. These skills include oral language and alphabet knowledge, as well as the ability to recognize that written words represent spoken sounds.

Literacy development is an important part of overall child development, and can begin before a child enters kindergarten. Talking, singing, playing sound and word games, reading together and watching television with children all contribute to early literacy.

The term kindergarten comes from German and translates to “children’s garden.” In almost all countries where it is available, kindergarten is the first year of school before compulsory primary school at age 6. In some regions in Africa, such as SOS Children’s Villages, this is often combined with full-day care.

Kindergartens worldwide follow educational philosophies based on Friedrich Frobel’s theories of self-directed learning and children’s natural creativity. However, poorer regions face greater challenges with providing the facilities and resources needed for kindergartens to operate.


During their first year of school, kindergarteners learn to count, identify shapes and colors, and compare sizes. They also begin to understand simple addition and subtraction.

Practice these skills at home with free printable kindergarten math worksheets. Kids use pie charts, dot plots, line graphs and more to work on comparing, measuring and ordering.

Other activities focus on calendars and temperatures, identifying alternating patterns, sorting and classifying objects by shape and size, and learning the days of the week and months of the year. Encourage young children to count everywhere and congratulate them on every success, no matter how small.

Once your child has mastered basic counting, try simple addition games like Addition Equation and Crossy Chicken. Then, move on to ordinal numbers, such as first, second, third, etc. Playing these online kindergarten games from Turtle Diary is a great way to introduce your children to computer-based learning. It’s fun, colorful and doesn’t feel like a “work” activity.

Social and Emotional Development

Social and emotional skills are critical to children’s success in school. These are the skills that help them form positive relationships, understand and express emotions, follow directions and interact respectfully with their peers. Research shows that students who enter kindergarten without these skills are more likely to experience negative school outcomes.

As a classroom teacher, you can support children’s social and emotional development by encouraging them to talk about their feelings with responsive adults and to listen to others. You can also model positive relationships and classroom behavior, and offer opportunities for children to practice problem solving when conflict arises.

Teachers sorted 90 index cards for one boy and one girl whom they recalled as highly ready for 4-year-old kindergarten. The teachers’ sort results were then analyzed to determine the probability that these boys and girls fit each of four clusters of characteristics that reflect the most ready. Each of these clusters includes children who are calm and self-regulated, active and attentive, persistent, and independent.

Independent Learning

Various initiatives, circulars and curriculum documents from governmental agencies and teaching associations have given prominence to independent learning. However, transforming this interest and commitment into classroom realities often proves challenging.

Developing independence in students means encouraging them to work alone and not depend on the teacher for every answer or solution. It also means providing children with the opportunity to be creative and explore new topics of study by themselves – not in a group – without being constantly interrupted.

The best way to do this is by giving the students a chance to plan their own work, make decisions and experience success in achieving those goals. It also involves allowing time for review and reflection.

To encourage the process, it’s important to provide constructive and detailed oral and written feedback. It’s also vital to limit the use of attainment grades and scores and instead promote a system in which the level of effort is graded.

The Benefits of Kindergarten
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