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100 Things to Do Before Kindergarten

School starts in a little over a month. Beatrix will be starting kindergarten. She’s excited, I’m excited, she’s sad, I’m sad. My chatty little buddy will be gone for the bulk of the day, but at least I know she’s in good hands and she will learn so much.

I’ve been thinking about a list I came across when Joel started kindergarten 2 years ago. I found it an interesting way to reflect back on his first 5 years at home, with me.

100 things to do before kindergarten

If you have a child starting kindergarten this late summer or fall, play along!


Beatrix’s turn:

1. Go to the zoo ~ Bea has been at least a dozen times. Her favorites are the flamingos and seals.

2. Visit a farm ~ We visited Moon Farm during our recent trip to Grand Junction. She pet goats, rabbits, cows, and horses. She’s been to the pumpkin patch, too.

3. Go on a hike ~ She’s a Colorado girl! We’ve been on many walks. Some of her earliest hikes afforded her this view:

Beatrix rocks the Kelty

4. Play with kittens or puppies ~ Does a pet shop count? We have a dog, relatives have pets, but none are kittens or puppies.

5. Catch a frog ~ Not yet

6. Make a gigantic mess ~ Of course!

7. Help clean up a gigantic mess ~ Of course!

8. Master the monkey-bars ~ She is SO close. So close. She dangles without fear, but letting go seems counterintuitive to her, I believe.

9. Swing high up into the sky all by themselves ~ Yes! She can get going on a swing by herself.

10. Try ice-skating ~ Not yet! We have to fix this.

11. Go sledding ~ Not traditional sledding, but she has played in snow.

12. Make a snow-man ~ Rudimentary.

13. Blow bubbles ~ Of course!

14. Plant seeds and watch them grow ~ She has half of this mastered. She has planted many seeds in cups, but she tends to think they are thirsty constantly.

15. Have a pillow fight ~ SMASH!

16. Jump on a big bed ~ She’s one of the original monkeys.

17. Jump on a trampoline or in a bounce house ~ Trampoline, no. Bounce houses, yes.

18. Hang out in a tent ~ Do Teepees count?

19. Spend days at the beach ~ Yes! But beaches in Colorado tend to be rocky and slimy lake shorelines, so not here. She was at a real beach in Florida as a baby:

Beatrix at the beach

20. Build sandcastles ~ See #19. You can’t build castles with trout guts and rocks.

21. Go fishing ~ No. Must be fixed.

22. Go out on a boat ~ Yes. Sort of.

23. Play with blocks and puzzles ~ One of her favorite things to do is build with blocks and Lego.

24. Read the classic picture books ~ We only have about 500 children’s books and she’s heard most of them read. She has never been very bookish, though.

25. Read a classic chapter book ~ Part of her non-bookishness is not caring when we’ve read books aloud to the kids. She’d rather color or decorate. Yes, decorate.

26. Check out library books with their own library card ~ She doesn’t have a library card of her own.

27. Get a passport ~ No.

28. Carve a pumpkin ~ She’s designed pumpkins and scooped guts, but has never carved.

29. Hold a newborn baby (to see how much they’ve grown) ~ Yes!

Beatrix @ 2 1/2 holding newborn Archie

30. Love a special doll or stuffed animal ~ Yes! She has Puss the Panda, Trixie the Fox, and ‘Usky the Husky.

31. Bake cookies and cakes ~ She ADORES cooking and baking.

32. Help plan their own birthday party ~ Yes! She’s a party planner at heart.

33. Go to the circus ~ No. I’m not a big fan of traditional circuses.

34. Go to a museum on a quiet weekday ~ Yes. She’s been to the Museum of Nature and Science, The Denver Art Museum, the Toys and Miniature Museum, the Museum of the West.

35. Play hide-and-seek ~ Yes.

36. Play a board game ~ She loves board games, especially Clue. She MUST be Miss Scarlet, though.

37. Do nothing whatsoever all day ~ Yes

38. Try a sport ~ She and I played basketball recently. No joke.

39. Watch a sporting event ~ My husband has season tickets to the Colorado Rapids. She’s been to Rapids games, to watch the Colorado Rockies, and to rugby matches and even an Aussie-rules football game.

cotton candy at coors

Bea at a Colorado Rockies game, June 2011, Coors Field

40. Learn to swim ~ Yes! She’s getting close.

swim goggles


41. Be tickled in hysterics ~ Of course!

42. Paint and draw as much as desired ~ One of her favorite things to do.

43. Have the use of scissors and glue ~ Yes, and not always without trouble.

44. Display artworks and other creations around the house ~ She likes to make “projects” and she makes sure everyone appreciates them.

45. Learn to use a camera (and keep an album of the results!) ~ I let her play with my old phone all the time. She took numerous photos.

46. Play with clay ~ I sorta hate clay and playdough, but I don’t mind Crayola’s Model Magic. Seems cleaner and not smelly. She enjoys playing with it a lot.

47. Pick flowers ~ Definitely

48. Climb a tree ~ Meow! She isn’t called Kitty Cat for nothing.

Beatrix, the black cat, up a tree on Halloween 2010

49. Gaze at the moon and stars ~ Yes

50. Toast marshmallows ~ Does the microwave count?

51. Learn to eat an ice-cream cone ~ You bet

52. Watch a sunset ~ Yes

53. Learn to write their own names Proudly, yes

54. Learn their addresses and telephone numbers ~ A work in progress.

55. Learn their parents’ full names ~ She can never remember my middle name. But yes.

56. Set the table ~ Yes, but not according to royal protocol. Good thing the Queen will never, ever dine with us.

57. Clear the table ~ She is quite helpful.

58. Help wash the dishes ~ She used to be obsessed with the dishwasher, but her feelings have cooled in recent months.

59. Learn to say their pleases and thank yous and excuse mes ~ She’s a polite little one.

60. Watch fireworks Yes!

61. Go to the ballet or theater or a puppet show ~ Yes!

Beatrix watching The Imagination Movers at the Paramount, Denver, CO

62. Put on a ballet or play or puppet show at home ~ Yes!

63. Face paint ~ Yes, and she hated it, which I totally understand. Once it dries, it itches!

Butterfly on Bea, but it was soon washed away

64. Dress up in costumes at will ~ There is a box of dress up clothes in her room. She has gowns, crowns, boas, wands, shoes, wings, hats, jewelry—but doesn’t play with them very much.

65. Learn rhymes and poems and songs by heart ~ She has the gift of being able to learn songs after hearing them played only a few times. It’s kind of amazing, actually.

66. Have a dance party ~ We have Friday Night Dance parties, especially in winter.

67. Enjoy friends at preschool and at the park ~ She didn’t go to preschool, but whenever we go to a park or place with other kids, she’ll announce she’s off to find her friends. Within 5 minutes, she has kids following her every move.

68. Invite friends over to play ~ Cousins!

69. Get to know grandparents Bea adores her grandparents. She is blessed to have both sets living and doing well and we see them often.

70. Play with cousins ~ See #68

71. Become attached to a wonderful preschool teacher and/or babysitter ~ Well, no. Does not apply.

72. Learn the name of our president ~ She has no clue. I just asked. But she told me about Abraham Lincoln because Sam likes him the best.

73. Know the name of their town, state and country ~ She knows 2/3.

74. Be familiar with a map of the world ~ She looks at a globe beach ball we have and likes to hear about the places.

75. Listen to music from many different ages and genres ~ Yep! Music is important to her and to our whole family.

76. Hear and learn words from a different language ~ Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorer!

77. Learn the difference between trash and recycling ~ Yes! She knows where each goes and why.

78. Grow their own vegetables ~ Not yet.

79. Learn to ride a bike (or try!) ~ She has a tricycle that looks like a pink Vespa.

80. Take a road trip ~ She’s travelled to other cities and states via car many times. She’s a pro.

81. Draw a self-portrait ~ She loves to draw pictures of herself.

82. Slurp alphabet soup ~ No. She doesn’t like soup and the only alphabet soup I can think of is Campbell’s condensed. There’s no way. Snob!

83. Learn to twirl spaghetti on a fork ~ She tries.

84. Pick apples ~ From a grocery store display, yes. Maybe this fall?

85. Star in a home movie ~ Yes

86. Learn a magic trick ~ No.

87. Try different hair-dos ~ Yes, but she wouldn’t let me put pigtails in her hair until recently. I paid her $1 to let me try. She loved them (knew she would) and now I get to do her hair for free.

88. Practice writing letters ~ She enjoys writing random things and then asks me what they say. Like: XPMTOM. And then she is delighted that she wrote expumtom.

89. Practice counting to 100 ~ Bea seems to be more of a numbers person than a letters person, so she’s been able to count for awhile.

90. Make up stories ~ Does Golden ring a bell?

91. Send a letter ~ No. I should have her do this.

92. Receive a letter ~ Yes! Her grandparents have sent cards to her in the mail. She loves getting mail.

93. Ride on a merry-go-round ~ But of course.

94. Give away toys and books to less fortunate children ~ We have given away clothes. We hang onto the toys because we have a lot of kids and they actually play with the toys.

95. Learn the value of coins and bills ~ She is beginning to learn how money works.

96. Keep a piggy bank ~ If she’d stop breaking them, yes.

97. Try a musical instrument ~ Does banging on the piano count? Does Lego Rock Band count? Does Beatles Rock Band count?

98. Have a heartfelt wish granted ~ She got her Trixie Fox for Christmas.

99. Have a heartfelt wish denied ~ Yes.

100. Receive a million (make that a billion) heartfelt kisses and hugs from their parents! Yes, yes, yes.

2 comments to 100 Things to Do Before Kindergarten

  • This is fun. My Timmy goes to K in the fall too. I think we have done a lot of these things but certainly not all of them. He was just jumping on my bed while counting to 100 this morning, so that’s two in one!

  • Oh, and I was going to tell you that our family tradition/policy regarding library cards is that you get one when you can read a book with minimal assistance. So I expect Timmy will get his next summer.

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