For those of us with Kindergarten students making the transition to first grade, it can be quite difficult to end the school year without saying goodbye to teachers and friends. Collected below are some resources from the library and ideas that correspond to help your young child end their Kindergarten school year and transition to summer and, eventually, first grade.
School’s … Out? Fun Ways to Celebrate Kindergarten Graduation
A timeless favorite, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss, available here on Overdrive in audiobook format, can be used to help make the transition easier for children of any age, but especially young children. In this classic from Dr. Seuss, a short graduation speech in the traditional Seussian sing-song verse inspires children to “steer yourself any direction you chose.” Reading this to your child can help them feel their importance and place in the world. For a gift full of nostalgia, consider purchasing a copy of this book to have your child’s teachers sign each year until high school graduation. Children are never too young or too old to hear or read the inspiring words, “And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed!”
Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the Last Day of Kindergarten by Joseph Slate and illustrated by Ashley Wolff is also a fun and commemorative read for young children. Come party with the students in Miss Bindergarten’s class to celebrate the transition from Kindergarten to first grade! The lovable anthropomorphic animal characters alphabetically help their teacher prepare the room for the end of the year and sign memory books. Can’t get the print version yet? Try watching this read-aloud YouTube video from AHEV Library. While your child can’t participate in many of those end-of-year traditions this year, consider giving your child Miss Bindergarten’s sweet and thoughtful gift: a penny and a Hershey’s Kiss. “The penny for success to come, the Kiss that you’ll be missed.” For children with food allergies, or just for a fun and sweet treat at home, substitute the brand name Kiss for a homemade treat! You can find a recipe for vegan and allergy-friendly treats here.
Considering that as of this writing, no one knows exactly when school will resume, it may be a while before your child begins their first-grade year. Therefore, the book Junie B. Jones: First Grader (at last!) by Barbara Park, available here on Overdrive in eBook format, is aptly named. Join Junie B. on her first day of first grade … finally! Junie B.’s teacher, Mr. Scary, gives her a journal to write in every day. Consider trying this with your child as well. Give them their own special journal for the summer and tell them to have fun! Instead of, or in addition to, traditional journal entries, children can sketch or color in their journal, or do fun projects such as leaf rubbings as seen here.
From all of us at the Library, congratulations to your Kindergarteners for finishing an unexpected, interesting, at times trying, and overall memorable school year!
Chris is a youth services librarian. She was a teacher-librarian in local PK-12 schools for over a decade, but she’s new to PLYMC. When she isn’t reading or playing with her brand-new Kindergarten graduate, Chris can be found at the sewing machine, teaching online, or aimlessly wandering around her gardens when she should be pulling weeds.