Which kindergarten learning kit is the best?
While kindergarten is meant to be a gentle, low-stress introduction to formal schooling, it’s a critically important milestone for little learners, who are developing at an astounding pace. Kindergarten learning kits can help teach important concepts and instill a love of learning.
Kindergarten learning kits come in an array of options to help foster skills your child needs to master. Keep reading to learn about the key components in different kits, including materials, design, and developmental goals. We also share some of our recommendations at the end, like the popular Butterfly Garden: Original Habitat and Live Cup of Caterpillars by Insect Lore, which includes real caterpillars and a habitat to teach kids about metamorphosis.
Considerations when choosing kindergarten learning kits
Areas of focus
Writing: In kindergarten, writing skills revolve around learning to write lowercase and capital letters. Kits that encourage your child to tell stories, narrate, and form letters can help strengthen these skills.
Reading: When your child graduates kindergarten, they should be able to identify each letter in the alphabet and its accompanying sounds. Many kindergarten learning kits help familiarize kids with the alphabet and letter sounds in fun games.
Math: Math kits that include games involving clocks or calendars can help your child become familiar with numbers up to 100, as well as basic concepts of subtraction, addition, and greater or less than.
Science: Science kits are a wonderful way to inspire a love of learning and stoke your child’s natural curiosity about the world. Kids tend to respond best to hands-on kits that involve animals, nature, or their five senses.
Art and music: Not only do art and music help hone fine motor skills and rhythm, but these important subjects also build right-brain skills like creativity, sensory and bodily awareness, and kinetic expression.
Social studies: Kindergarteners are learning about their place in the world. Their curiosity about different countries, history, and geography can be encouraged with kits that reveal interesting information and hands-on fun with objects and facts about other places and customs.
Since you know your child best, use the age guidelines on a given kindergarten learning kit as a starting place. Choose a slightly challenging kit to keep your child from becoming bored, but not so hard that your child becomes discouraged.
Most kindergarten learning kits are intended for children who are 5-6 years old but read descriptions and reviews carefully to make sure the concepts and activities are suitable for your child’s needs.
Color and design
Bright, engaging colors are much more likely to interest your child and keep their attention. Choose paper larger than standard rule paper to give your child the freedom to write, draw, or color without worrying about running out of space. At this stage of learning, letter formation and finding joy in a given exercise is more important than precision.
Safety of materials
Always choose kits that include non-toxic, washable materials that won’t break easily. Kids may still put objects in their mouths or absently chew on plastic and wood pieces. Be wary of very inexpensive or poorly made kits that may include harmful chemicals or coatings.
How much can you expect to spend on a kindergarten learning kit?
You can find budget kindergarten learning kits consisting of simple learning games for $5-$15, while mid-range options from $15-$25 offer more durable games, basic science kits, and hands-on experiments. Expensive kits typically cost $40 or more and include novel science experiments, multifaceted learning experiences, and high-quality games.
Kindergarten learning kit FAQ
Q. What are a few basic learning benchmarks my child should meet by the end of kindergarten?
A. By the end of kindergarten, your child should be able to name between seven and 10 different colors and have a vocabulary of about 2,000 words. While each child is different, kindergarteners should also be able to stay focused on a task for about 15 minutes with some guidance and follow instructions of two or three steps.
Q. Do I need to follow official kindergarten requirements if I plan to homeschool?
A. One of the advantages of homeschooling is the ability to create a more casual, tailored approach to learning that meets your child’s unique needs. However, it’s still important to pay attention to kindergarten standards in your state to prepare for the possibility that your child may enter the public education system because of unforeseen circumstances. These standards can also help provide a framework to help you identify possible learning delays or disabilities early.
The best kindergarten leaning kits
Best of the best
Insect Lore’s Butterfly Garden: Original Habitat and Live Cup of Caterpillars
Our take: Hands-on kit with real caterpillars that teaches budding scientists about metamorphosis and the insect life cycle.
What we like: Includes Painted Lady caterpillars, habitat, and food for both caterpillars and butterflies. Engaging and exciting for kids. Provides three weeks of learning.
What we dislike: A few caterpillars may die. Must plan butterfly release date with warmer weather.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Best bang for your buck
Learning Resources’ Swat-a-Sight-Word Game
Our take: Engaging, fast-paced game to help kids memorize 220 common sight words.
What we like: Simple rules. Includes four swatters for multiple players. Cards based on Dolch sight words. Decorated, brightly colored cards.
What we dislike: Cards aren’t well organized by reading level.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Brickyard Building Blocks’ 163-Piece STEM Toy Kit
Our take: Brick set builds fine motor skills and a love for STEM with endless possibilities for creativity.
What we like: 163 brightly colored bricks. Includes real, child-sized tools. Comes with 42 different project ideas and instructions, or bricks can be used for freeform creation.
What we dislike: Not enough bricks to build every project without disassembling earlier projects.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Noelle Ihli writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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