Your child doesn’t have to learn 5 different languages, do trigonometry, or read a thesaurus to go to kindergarten, despite what you heard in that mom group you’ve been following. However, there are some basic skills your preschooler should have before going to kindergarten. If your preschooler is doing the following, there’s a good chance they’re ready to go to kindergarten.
MOTOR AND SENSORY SKILLS
1. Puts Puzzles Together
Grabbing puzzle pieces and putting them together correctly is important in improving spatial awareness and hand eye coordination.
2. Plays With Blocks
Building with blocks helps to develop muscles in the fingers, hands, arms, shoulders, and back.
3. Uses Scissors
Cutting with scissors helps develop the small muscles in the hand, and also helps with coordination.
4. Holds Crayons and Markers Correctly
Holding drawing tools is another important step in developing fine motor skills
5. Is Potty Trained
Have a child with a sensory disorder? Your Kids Table has some great potty training tips for you.
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SKILLS
6. Uses Manners
Saying “Yes ma’am,” “Please,” and “Thank you” are important skills to have, even if you’re not in kindergarten!
7. Shares With Others
Sharing is caring. Children need to be able to share in order to learn how to negotiate, compromise, and make successful friendships.
8. Expresses Themselves Using Words
It’s important that a kindergartener is able to express themselves with words. This can be through writing, speaking, and even singing.
9. Can Dress Themselves
Learning to dress themselves builds confidence and creates a sense of accomplishment.
10. Respects Others
Kindergarteners need to be able to respect their teachers, and classmates while in school. Learning respect starts at home, by teaching your child to respect their family, friends, and their environment.
LANGUAGE AND LITERACY SKILLS
11. Speaks In Full Sentences
Kindergartners should speak in full sentences, even if they talk so fast you can’t understand them anyways.
12. Expresses Curiosity
Kindergarten is the time to ask questions, and lots of them. You should be hearing “but why?” on repeat.
13. Recognizes Rhyming Words
Being able to recognize rhyming words is extremely important in developing language skills and word recognition.
14. Shows Interest In Reading
By kindergarten, children should show interest in books by holding them, turning the pages, and looking at the pictures. Children may even make up their own stories or words to go along with the pictures.
15. Recognizes Many Letters
Kindergartners should be able to recognize most letters by sight, as well as by sound.
MATH, LOGIC, AND PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS
16. Recognizes Some Numbers
By kindergarten, children should be able to recognize the numbers 1-10, and count at least five objects.
17. Arranges Objects By Size
Arranging objects smallest to largest, or largest to smallest, is a big part of understanding logic.
18. Knows The Difference Between Numbers And Letters
Kindergarteners should know that letters make up words, and numbers describe an amount or quantity of something. Help them understand with this Jack Hartmann video, Is it a number or a letter?
19. Knows Some Shapes
Kindergarteners should be able to recognize basic shapes such as, circle, square, and triangle.
20. Uses Comparison Words
ART AND MUSIC SKILLS
21. Knows Basic Colors
Children should recognize primary colors by kindergarten.
22. Dances To Music
Dancing suggests recognizing a beat, and helps to develop rhythm, and creativity.
23. Can Draw Basic Shapes
Kindergarteners should be able to draw some shapes. They don’t have to be perfect, but they should be recognizable.
24. Makes Up Stories
Making up stories helps develop imagination, creativity, and also language skills.
25. Plays With Basic Instruments
Playing an instrument is beneficial for developing self expression, improving listening skills, and is great for social skills.
SCIENCE AND SOCIAL STUDIES SKILLS
26. Knows Basic Information About Family
Kindergarteners should know their guardians first and last name, and phone number in case of emergency. Knowing their address is also very beneficial.
27. Knows Some Animal Facts
Children should be able to recognize some animals, the sounds they make, and some other basic information about them. Such as…Horses like carrots, or penguins can’t fly.
28. Recognizes Things In The Sky
By kindergarten, a child should be able to point out the sun, moon, and stars.
29. Notices Similarities
Children need to be able to notice similarities in items, to then be able to recognize differences in other objects.
30. Knows We Live In a Huge World
It’s important for a kindergartner to know about people all over the world. They should know that skin color is not always the same, and people speak in all different languages, and come from different countries all over the world. It’s important that they know that we should love each other no matter what our differences are, because they make us unique.