Ministry of Education, Guyana

Getting Ready For Nursery School - Academic Building Blocks

Getting Ready For Nursery School - Academic Building Blocks

Children learn best through their play and by having direct experiences with objects, people, situations, and concepts in their world. The best way to teach a child, is to DO activities with a child. Beginner academic skills like the ABCs, 123s, and inquiry, come from parents finding the teachable moments in everyday life. Parents, after all, are the first and best teachers of their children.


Early literacy skills are best taught through:

  • Meaningful conversations with your child by answering in full ALL of their WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, and HOW questions!
  • Asking your child to explain their thinking e.g. Why do YOU think the water is brown?
  • Making and having an alphabet chart at home and pointing to the letters as you sing the ABC song. Take turns with your child to be the pointer and/or singer.
  • Picking one alphabet letter per week and looking for it everywhere (books, store signs, bus logos, etc.)
  • Practising the sound the letter makes and words that start with the sound e.g. ‘A’ is for a, a , alligator.
  • Practising how to form that letter using a variety of tools (using your bodies, drawing it in sand, making it with roti dough, pieces of sticks, fabric…ANYTHING!)
  • Singing songs and reciting poems
  • Reading for and with your child EVERYDAY!


Early mathematical skills are best taught through first looking at your child at play, joining in, extending the learning through careful questions and experimentation, and then a conversation around what happened. Find time to teach numeracy in everyday activities.

Here are a few examples.


  • Making and having a numbers chart, pointing to the numerals as you count, and counting the number of objects in each set. 
  • Saying each number as you go up and down stairs
  • Saying each number as you see a target object (e.g. minibuses)
  • Lining up toys and counting them (e.g. how many dolls do you have?)


  • Putting clothes into piles when doing laundry (e.g. kid versus grown up, light versus dark, shirts versus pants etc.)
  • Finding big, medium, and little
  • Separating things by colour
  • Separating coins from a change purse (hand wash)


  • Playing with sand and containers (can talk about big versus little, how many scoops does it take to…)
  • Playing with water and containers (can talk about full versus empty, practise pouring, etc.)
  • Playing with string, yarn, or rope


  • Making matchstick shapes
  • Tracing cookie cutters
  • Playing with dough or modeling clay
Read 28140 times Last modified on Sunday, 10 November 2013 20:38
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