Welcome to Big Rapids Public Schools

Kindergarten Resources

Kindergarten is a time of growth and learning, and preparation for this important year all starts with you.  With every story you read, skills you teach or hug you give, you know that you are the most valuable teacher your child will ever have.  This book walks you through the skills that are developed in kindergarten - and it shows how you can help your child get ready for this exciting educational journey.    Enjoy this special time!


Kindergarten is the beginning of a child's formal education, and it's important that your child have a positive kindergarten experience.


These resources cover the skills teachers would like children to have when they start kindergarten. They also give you a number of simple things you can do to help your child get ready for kindergarten.

Knowing letters and numbers are important skills, but you will see, there are many other skills that contribute to a successful kindergarten year.

As you help your preschooler prepare for kindergarten, try to make learning fun. Encourage curiosity and imagination, and answer those endless questions.

Children develop at different rates, and there is a wide range of what 'normal' looks like at this age. Schools recognize that children entering kindergarten have different skill levels, and kindergarten teachers are prepared to work with children with a wide variety of skills and learning styles.



Enrollment is open!  

Visit BRPS Central Office to enroll your Kindergarten student.  We are located at 21034 15 Mile Road (in front of the High School) and are open from 7:30am - 4pm on Monday through Friday.  

Kindergarten Assessments

Kindergarten assessments will take place on June 6th & 7th at Big Rapids High School.  Our K team will meet with your child for about 15 minutes.  These appointment times will be made at the time of your child's enrollment.  If you enrolled but do not have an appointment, please call (231) 796-2627.

Check out the helpful Kindergarten resources below:

K Readiness Skills

Letters and Beginning Sounds

Look for opportunities to show your child that letters and words are all around us.

  • At breakfast, ask your child to find specific letters on a cereal box.
  • Pick a letter, talk about the sound that letter makes, and see how many things you can find around the house that begin with that letter's sound.
  • When you're riding in the car or taking a walk, play a rhyming word game. Example: "I see a cat.  Can you think of a word that rhymes with cat?"
  • Sing and say the alphabet.
  • Read an ABC picture book and practice the sound each letter makes.
  • Spell simple words with refrigerator magnets.


One of the greatest gifts parents can give their child is a love of reading. Read to your child every day.

  • As you read, move your finger under the words to help your child learn that words go from left to right, and have your child turn the pages.
  • Regularly visit the library and check out age-appropriate books to read.
  • Read the same favorite books over and over.
  • Ask questions while reading, such as, "What do you think will happen next?" and "What would you do?"
  • Find rhymes in books.


Kindergartners spend a good deal of time in school learning to write.

  • Help your child practice writing letters and numbers.
  • Have paper, pencils, and crayons readily available for writing and drawing.
  • Teach your child how to write their name with the first letter capitalized, and the rest in lowercase.
  • Draw pictures and write a story to match.

Vocabulary Explosion

Preschoolers learn vocabulary at the rate of five to six words per day. Words such as "Stegosaurs" are not only fun for children to say, they also help children to learn to distinguish sounds.  Visit the library, check out books on subjects your child is interested in, and help your child learn new vocabulary.

Children develop at different rates, and there is a wide range of what 'normal' looks like at this age. Schools recognize that children entering kindergarten have different skill levels, and kindergarten teachers are prepared to work with children with a wide variety of skills and learning styles.

General Knowledge

  • Say their name and address
  • Identify some numbers and letters of the alphabet
  • Retell a familiar event or story
  • Identify basic shapes, such as a star, circle, and square
  • Recognize color names
  • Recite some simple rhymes
  • Match objects (socks, shoes, mittens)
  • Notice similarities and differences in objects
  • Count to 10

Motor Skills

  • Throw and catch a large ball
  • Walk backward, hop, skip, and jump
  • Write their first name and draw basic shapes
  • Cut on a line with scissors

General Knowledge

  • Speak in full sentences
  • Share with others
  • Follow simple instructions
  • Make choices
  • Take turns
  • Show concern for others
  • Listen attentively to a story
  • Follow/walk in a line

Take time to help your child develop these important skills!


Help develop your child's math skills by looking for opportunities to count and talk about numbers.

  • Count items aloud throughout the day. For example, count how many socks you take out of the dryer, or how many eggs are in the egg carton
  • As you drive around town, point out the numbers you see on buildings, billboards, and street signs.
  • Ask your child to bring you a specific number of objects, such as four spoons or five cups.
  • Play card games such as "Go Fish."
  • Introduce the concept of time. "We're going to start making dinner at 5:00, and then we'll eat in 30 minutes."

Shapes & Colors

Knowing shapes and colors will help your child understand that objects can be placed into categories.

  • Play a game in which your child tries to find objects of a particular color or shape around the house.
  • Match socks or put coins into categories (nickels, dimes, etc.)
  • Sort Legos or toys by shape or color.
  • Introduce color in written form or color by number.

Fine Motor Skills

Children need fine motor skills to color, paint, write, cut, paste, and draw - activities that kindergartners do every day.

  • To encourage drawing and writing, always have paper, crayons, markers, and colored pencils available
  • Provide play dough or clay to develop hand muscles.
  • Let your child cut up colored paper and magazines with a pair of child-safe scissors.
  • Help your child string beads, build with blocks, and put puzzles together.
  • Practice zipping and unzipping jackets, buttoning and unbuttoning sweaters and shirts, fastening snaps, and turning pages of a book.

Large Motor Skills

Children need large motor skills for playing games, sports, and other physical activities.

  • Play catch. Do somersaults.
  • Jump rope. Practice running, skipping, and hopping.
  • Kick a soccer ball back and forth. Bounce a basketball.

Your Future Superstar

Some kids seem to be good athletes, even at a young age. Give your child opportunities to develop their skills - but keep in mind that trying to do something before a child is ready can lead to frustration.

Speaking & Listening Skills

Good communication skills will help lead to success in kindergarten and beyond.

  • Encourage your child to share their thoughts and ideas with you. Ask questions that require more than yes or no answers.
  • Visit new places and talk about what you're seeing and doing. Make every outing an opportunity for learning new vocabulary.
  • Ask your child to tell you about what they did that day.
  • Read stories to your child, and as you read, ask questions to help sharpen their listening skills and have them retell a story.
  • Give your child two-or three-step directions to follow, and then ask your child to repeat them back to you. For example, "Wash your face, brush your teeth, and choose a book for us to read."

Social Skills

Kindergarten opens up a whole new world of social interactions.

  • Provide opportunities for your child to play with other children.
  • Encourage your child to use words to let others know what they want and feel.
  • Play games. Games help children learn how to take turns, follow directions, and how to win and lose.

Developing personal responsibility is an important step in getting ready for kindergarten.  It might be quicker for you to zip up your child's jacket, but taking a few extra minutes to teach self-help skills will lead to kindergarten success and build self-confidence.

  • Make sure zippers, buttons, and fasteners are easy to manage.
  • Since tying shoes is a skill that often doesn't come until first grade, consider buying shoes with Velcro fasteners.
  • If you purchase a backpack, make sure it's not too large or too small, and that it can be put on without help.

Teachers would like children entering kindergarten to be able to do the following:

  • Get their jacket on and off without help.
  • Use the restroom and wash their hands.
  • Cover their mouth when sneezing or coughing.
  • Drink from a cup and open a juice box.
  • Operate zippers, snaps, and buttons.
  • Properly use eating utensils.
  • Clean up after themselves.

Other K Resources

The goal of Young Kindergarten at Big Rapids Public Schools is to offer students the "gift of time" to prepare for a successful school experience. Young Kindergarten serves as a bridge between preschool and Kindergarten.

Most states have a cut-off date stating children must be five by September 1st to begin Kindergarten. This policy is based on extensive research showing that most children are ready for Kindergarten across cognitive and social-emotional domains at five and a half years of age. Many children who turn five in the summer or fall of their entry year may benefit from the Young Kindergarten program.

Young Kindergarten places a greater emphasis on routines, expectations, play, and exploration while developing core skills for reading, math, science, and social-emotional development. The curriculum is focused on introduction and exploration, rather than mastery of Kindergarten skills and concepts.

NOTE: While birthdates are the number one qualifying factor for a student's eligibility for a Young Kindergarten classroom, other factors are considered as well.

Young K v. K

How old does my child have to be to enroll in Kindergarten?

Children need to turn 5 years old by December 1st of the year they are enrolling. (Birth dates between September 1 - December 1 are required to have a waiver signed by a parent.)

Can I request a school?

Requests can be written at the top right of the enrollment form. Keep in mind, there are MANY factors the district has to balance in placing children in school buildings so we cannot guarantee any requests. However, siblings will always be placed at the same building.

Can I request a teacher?

Teacher requests can be directed to building principals. Please keep in mind that there are MANY factors that go into classroom placement.

Can I enroll my child if I do not live in the Big Rapids School District?

Yes! If you reside in a school district outside of Big Rapids Public Schools, you just need to complete a 'School of Choice' form as a part of your child's enrollment packet. There may be times when the school of choice window is closed but that only pertains to those enrolling after the school year has already begun.

What are Kindergarten Assessments?

The kindergarten team uses assessment data to evenly place children into classrooms based on their basic levels of knowledge in things like colors, numbers, shapes, and letters. Be sure to schedule your child's assessment with one of our Kindergarten team members.

To enroll your child for the 2023-24 academic year at Big Rapids Public Schools, please visit BRPS Central Office located at 21034 15 Mile Road between the hours of 7:30am and 4:00pm.

Be sure to bring your child's:

  • Immunization records,

  • Child's birth certificate,

  • Parent or guardian's proof of residency.  (Proof of residency can be in the form of a driver's license, utility bill, or any other form that ties the parent or guardian to their stated address.)

Pre-fill your enrollment forms by visiting our enrollment page.   

Call (231) 796-2627 with any questions.