Get Ready for Kindergarten with Dinosaur Train

Transitioning to Kindergarten can be a stressful time for young children as they take on a new role as “student”—in addition to other changes such as new surroundings, routines and expectations, and in some cases being away from parents for the first time.

Genghis is gearing up for his new role as a student. This will be the first time that he has ever been away from me and while he is excited, I also want to make sure he is ready.

The Jim Henson Company and PBS KIDS have included some fun ideas from the award-winning Dinosaur Train website that will help children familiarize themselves with and build upon some specific skills, while at the same time enjoying their favorite characters!

Practice reading and speaking. You can practice the ABC’s while learning, speaking and singing about different dinosaurs. Have fun learning about letters, and dinosaurs at: http://www.pbs.org/parents/dinosaurtrain/activities/handson/dinosaursatoz.html.

Learn about color. Not only can you help your child learn their colors but you can help them learn about the science behind colors. Simple household basics including food coloring, clean food jars/containers, colored markers and a cookie sheet make for fun experiments. For details go to: http://www.pbs.org/parents/dinosaurtrain/activities/handson/colorfulhypothesis.html

Develop fine motor skills such as coloring; cutting; drawing; buttoning; zippering; building. With Buddy’s help, you can practice some of these skills while making a Stegosaurus Puppet, details at: http://www.pbs.org/parents/dinosaurtrain/activities/artscraftscooking/stegosauruspuppet.html

Practice gross motor skills such as running, jumping and throwing. Not only can you make sure you child is getting some much needed exercise, you can also help improve their motor skills by “Playing Dino Ball Your Way” Details at: http://www.pbs.org/parents/dinosaurtrain/activities/games/dinoball.html

Explore size and scale. Using illustrations and physical markers, kids can measure out size differences in large dinosaurs to understand their size and scale! Check out the activity “Even Bigger than T.rex!” at the following link and have some fun while learning about size: http://www.pbs.org/parents/dinosaurtrain/activities/handson/biggerthantrex.html

There are also some great products available to help you teach the above lessons. I had a chance to review some of them and these were some of my favorites.

DINOSAURS A TO Z from Golden Books by Andrea Posner-Sanchez; illustrated by Terry Izumi.

Meet 26 dinosaurs—one for each letter of the alphabet—in this Dinosaur Train™ alphabet book. Buddy, Mr. Conductor, and the other Dinosaur Train™ characters from the hit PBS Kids® animated series introduce dinos from Apatosaurus to Zigongosaurus! Your dinosaur enthusiasts will love learning cool facts about 26 amazing dinosaurs. This awesome non-fiction book with a sturdy padded cover makes a great gift!
Ages 3-5; SRP $11.99; 30 pages. Available August 9, 2011.

DINOSAUR TRAIN COLORING PAD & MARKER SET from Crayola Mess Free Color Wonder.

With Crayola Mess Free Color Wonder, the inks are clear, and colors magically appear only when the markers meet the special Color Wonder paper. Let your child unleash their imaginations and marvel as each marker magically reveals a different color on the special paper.
Age: 3+. SRP: $7.99. Available now at Walmart, Target, Toys “R” Us, Kmart, Kohl’s, Meijer.

MEGA BLOKS Dinosaur Train “All Aboard the Dinosaur Train!” from MEGA Brands

All aboard the Dinosaur Train! Have your little engineers join Buddy and Tiny on their adventures through the Age of Dinosaurs with their tour guide Gilbert aboard the Dinosaur Train! Build and rebuild the Dinosaur Train with two observation cars, opening doors and replica brown roof as it pulls into Pteranodon Station to pick up a new group of passengers.
Ages 3+. SRP: $32.99. Available now at Amazon and Toys”R”Us.

Dinosaur Train’s summer line shirts and pants and shorts sets are a great way to send you child back to school in style. Look for NEW Dinosaur Train apparel coming in August and September at Kohls and Kmart.

Get ready for an all-new season of Dinosaur Train this August with “Dinosaur Big City” which premieres on PBS Kids on August 22; and the DVD release of Dinosaur Train: Dinosaur Big City on August 23.

To stay current on all things Dinosaur Train and PBS be sure to follow Follow The Jim Henson Company on Facebook and Twitter, and PBS Kids on Facebook and Twitter.

About Rachel

Rachel Akers writes about crafts, recipes, and features the adventures of a family of 4. It is always crazy but I wouldn't change it for the world! Comments or questions? Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter or sign up for our RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.