Family Resources » Kindergarten Readiness Guide

Kindergarten Readiness Guide

Ready for Kindergarten?
Kindergarten is a wonderfully fun time for students and families alike! A strong and healthy start to kindergarten sets the stage for a successful time in elementary school. There are many things that families can do to help make sure your child is ready for a great transition to Kindergarten. We've put together our list of what you can do to help your child be ready socially and academically below.
Click the links to see videos or other resources that can help!
Self Care Skills
  • Be able to go to the bathroom and wash their hands on their own. 
  • Be able to unpack their backpack on their own.
  • Be able to get dressed on their own. 
  • Know their first and last name and be able to tell their age.
  • BONUS: be able to tie their shoes.
Social Emotional Skills
  • Be able to separate from their parents or caregiver without getting too upset. 
  • Be able to talk and play with other children and adults
    • Give your children opportunities to interact with other children in preschool, church or social groups or play dates.
  • Be able to pay attention for at least 5 minutes  during a lesson, a story, or activity directions. 
    • Read lots of stories with your child and work up to reading longer chapter books, one chapter each night or as long as he/she remains interested and focused.
  • Be able to talk about feelings, especially feeling mad or sad, without becoming upset.
    • Teach your child how to express their feelings if they don’t like something.
    • Role-play different situations one might experience on the playground or at school. Help find solutions for typical problems.
Language Skills
  • Speak clearly and confidently. (In the language spoken at home)
  • Speak in complete sentences.
  • Follow 1 and 2 step directions.
    • Give your child two and three step directions. For example: "put on your pajamas, brush your teeth and pick a book to read."
    • Play Simon Says with two or three step directions. For example: "Simon Says jump up and down and shout hooray."
  • Be able to communicate needs and wants with spoken words.
Reading Readiness Skills
  • Recognize and try to write their own name.
    • Write in shaving cream in the bathtub, salt or sugar in a cake pan or in finger paint to make practicing more fun and to use multiple senses.
  • Book handling skills: holding a book properly, how to turn the page, where to begin reading.  
    • Run your finger under the words as you read to your child to help them learn that words go from left to right and top to bottom.
  • Say and identify many of the letter names and sounds.
    • Play games and use songs to help your child recognize some letters of the alphabet.
    • Use flashcards play a game of alphabet go fish.
    • Find items around the house that begin with the same sound and identify the letter that makes each sound.
    • Overemphasize the first sound in words to help your child hear the individual sounds in words.
    • Play with words the more words a child hears, the better!
  • Recognize rhyming words.  For example “bat” and “hat” rhyme, but “mop” and “hip” don't rhyme.
    • Play games with rhyming words to help your child hear similar sounds in words. For example, as you are going up the stairs or walking down the sidewalk, name one word that rhymes with cat for each step.
  • Draw a picture to tell a story. 
  • Pay attention to stories and be able to remember some details about what happened in the story.  
Mathematics Skills
  • Count to 10 without missing a number.
  • Count objects to 10.
    • Count throughout the day (for example, the crackers she is eating for snack or the socks that you take out of the dryer).
  • Identify basic shapes: circle, triangle, square, and rectangle.
    • Play games in which your child finds objects of particular colors and shapes around the house or in the neighborhood as you drive.
  • Identify the numerals 0-5 and be familiar with the numerals 6-9.
    • Point out numbers you see in your environment and have your child name them (for example, the numbers found on food boxes or street signs)
  • Understand “more than” and “less than"” with groups smaller than ten.
  • Identify the basic colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, white.
    • If your child is having trouble recognizing certain colors, you might add a little food coloring to cookie dough, milk or vanilla pudding to emphasize those colors.
Fine Motor Skills
  • Use a pencil with some control.
    • Give your child several different writing options (colored pencils, crayons or markers) to help keep her interested in writing and drawing.
    • Playing with play dough is a fun way to strengthen the muscles of the hand that will be used for writing, drawing, and cutting.
    • Name-writing is a great way to practice!
  • Use scissors with some control.
    • Purchase a good pair of child-safe scissors and let your child practice.
    • Give her old magazines or newspapers to cut up, or allow her to make a collage of the things she likes by cutting them from magazines and gluing them to a piece of paper.
    • Cutting play dough is also fun for children.
Gross Motor Skills