Play is an important factor in early childhood development and learning - and the Welcome to Kindergarten resources are developed and created with this in mind.
enrichment resources were developed with the knowledge of the significant role that play has in early childhood development and learning. These enrichment resources support early learning and the
Educators across Canada attend a workshop or take an eLearning course that prepares them with the resources and concepts to run exciting and effective orientation programs for children and families starting Kindergarten.
Starting Kindergarten is an exciting and sometimes stressful time for children and their parents. Welcome to Kindergarten™
resources have been developed to help families get ready for the child's entry into formal schooling and help build the early learning foundations needed for a successful transition.
Don't forget to take the WTK Parent Survey - we would love to hear your voice!
Outreach to school community partners is an essential component of the Welcome to Kindergarten™
program. The goal is to enhance and provide the necessary guidance and support that families can draw upon to ensure the well-being and healthy development of their young children.
The following information and extension/enrichment resources are available:
May I purchase any of the resources?
*These resources are available for purchase, at a reduced cost, to educators, parents and community agencies supporting families of young children. All proceeds from sales are used to support the maintenance and continued development of the Welcome to Kindergarten™
The WTK newsletter "Show and Tell"
WTK Newsletter - Fall 2013
Welcome to Kindergarten™ CD of Songs
(available through our store)
The Welcome to Kindergarten™
program provides parents and their pre-school children with the resources and experiences to begin their child’s formal education with a foundation in early learning and literacy, nurtured within their home.
Welcome to Kindergarten™ CD of Songs - Music and Lyrics by Bob Schneider
Children’s singer and songwriter, Bob Schneider, has recorded ten songs for the Welcome to Kindergarten™
program. The songs are fun, interactive and encourage children and their families to join in by singing, dancing and moving to the rhythm of the songs.
Visit our Store to purchase Welcome to Kindergarten CD of Songs
Download the WTK CD lyrics so your kids can sing along!
WTK CD lyrics
WTK Music CD Activity Page
Welcome to Kindergarten Calendar
We hope that our Welcome to Kindergarten™ calendar of activities will be used by parents and caregivers to help children develop curiosity, imagination and confidence as they begin to prepare for their adventures in learning. Download the months of September - December 2013:
Visit our Store to purchase Welcome to Kindergarten calendar
Welcome to Kindergarten My Story Scrapbook
In this book, the story of a WTK Family Orientation is told so the child and family can revisit their experiences and then do activities together that can be shown on the scrapbook pages.
How will My Story Scrapbook enrich your WTK program?
Visit our Store to purchase Welcome to Kindergarten My Story Scrapbook
WTK Archived Resources
Did you know?
There are four building blocks that make up the foundation for reading and writing:
Reading begins with talking and listening
- The story will help families recall what happened and what they learned at their WTK Family Orientation.
- The At Home activity suggestions reinforce the messages given at the WTK Family Orientation.
- The scrapbook provides a place for the children and their parents/caregivers to respond to the suggested activities.
- If children are encouraged to bring their Story Scrapbook to school for show and tell/sharing time, teachers can gather important information about the child’s early learning experiences in the home.
Children who become good readers are children who are good talkers. That is, they have a big vocabulary and are able to talk in sentences.
Stories and books are the backbone of early reading
When children listen to stories either from books or through storytelling, they come to understand such things as the beginning, middle and end. They broaden their understanding of the different ways people act and speak; they learn to predict an outcome; they learn to follow a sequence of events and pick out important details. These are some of the main skills needed for reading.
Play and language
Children’s play is one of the most important ways children learn language. Most parents see the value in playing language games but do not realize that make-believe play is one of the most important activities for the development of language. This is not only true of listening and speaking, but for reading and writing as well.
Reading and writing are all around
Reading and writing are everywhere in any child’s world. Seeing adults read and write in every day life helps children understand the importance of these skills in getting along in the world. Being unable to read and write is one of the biggest barriers to a successful life.
Program Evaluations and Surveys
The Learning Partnership has involved external researchers to perform impact evaluation of the Welcome to Kindergarten program on the early literacy and school readiness of children, the confidence and capability of their parents to play their support role in the preparation process, and the involvement with community partners.
Some of the reported findings:
- Parents report learning new strategies
- Children develop skills for self-regulation e.g. listening, sharing, taking-turns
- Children demonstrate book handling skills
- Families develop an increased level of trust in their school
- Families learn about community agencies, programs and resources
Implementation Survey, Parent Survey, Special event or project survey
Welcome to Kindergarten National Evaluation (WTKNE)
The Learning Partnership retained the services of the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) to conduct Phase 2 of the Welcome to Kindergarten™ Program (WTK) National Evaluation.
The evaluation was supported by an Advisory Committee composed of practitioners and early learning advocates.
- Jane Bertrand, Early Childhood Education
- Dr. Carl Corter, OISE/University of Toronto (Chair)
- Dr. Jean Clinton, Offord Centre / McMaster University
- Dr. José da Costa, University of Alberta
- Dr. Sharon Jeroski, Horizon Research and Evaluation, Inc.
- Allan Northcott, Max Bell Foundation
- Dr. Charles Ungerleider, Directions Evidence and Policy Research Group
- Dr. Ron Wideman, Nipissing University
- This research was funded by the Max Bell Foundation.
To request a copy of the evaluation, please click here
If you would like to find out more about the Welcome to Kindergarten™ program in your school, please contact:
Phone: 416 440 5118