1. Parenting

Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

A List of Skills for Your Kindergartner to Work On


Though all children develop at different rates, there are some common skills that can help you identify how ready for kindergarten your child is. As you look through this checklist of kindergarten readiness skills, don't be overly concerned if your child isn't able to do everything on the list. There's still time to practice and master those skills.

**Print the PDF table/checklist "Kindergarten Readiness Checklist" to use as a reference and to check off skills as you work with your child. (Use the back button on your browser to return to this page.) To evaluate your child's progress, answer each skill with Always, Sometimes or Never.**

Skills: Self-care

  • Uses the bathroom without help.
  • Dresses self in the morning.
  • Can snap, button and/or zip.
  • Knows how to wash his hands.

Skills: Language & Communication:

Communication is big part of kindergarten. It's at the heart of being about to make needs known, interact with friends and teachers and asking and answering questions.

  • Knows and says first and last name.
  • Speaks in a way that is fairly understandable by unfamiliar adults.
  • Uses complete sentences (5 to 6 words).
  • Expresses frustration/anger with words
  • Can follow 2- to 3-step directions
  • Understands positional words (i.e., below, behind, on top of, next to)
  • Understands questions and responds to them.

Skills: Social/Emotional:

Socially interaction is at the heart of kindergarten. Getting along with others, sharing, being socially appropriate and independent is a huge part of being a part of a learning community.

  • Separates from caregiver easily or without undue distress
  • Explores new things and is willing to take some risks.
  • Is beginning to play and share with other children without the need for constant supervision.
  • Is able to "wait his turn." (within reason).
  • Focuses on an adult-directed activity for 5 minutes or longer.
  • Recognizes other people have feelings.
  • Responds appropriately to other people's feelings.

Skills: Fine Motor:

Small muscle coordination, or fine motor skills, helps to make children more independent in their classroom work and activities.

  • Traces lines and basic shapes (circle, square, etc.)
  • Is able to copy basic shapes, including a circle, straight line and a square.
  • Holds a writing utensil with a non-fisted grip.
  • Can use scissors for an intentional task,though may not have mastered the task. (i.e. cutting on a line)

Skills: Gross Motor:

Strong Gross motor control is important in helping students have the stamina to learn. It give them the ability and balance they need to sit through a lesson and enables them to interact physically (play!) with peers.

  • Is able to run and skip.
  • Can do a two-footed jump and a one-legged hop.
  • Alternates feet when climbing stairs.
  • Can walk backwards.
  • Is able to bounce a kickball.
  • Attempts a two-handed catch of large ball.

Skill: Math Readiness:

Math concepts are important when your child begins to work with numbers,the ideas of "more" and "less," and learning about fact families.

  • Counts from 1 to 10 without skipping numbers.
  • Is able to identify basic shapes, either verbally or by pointing to them.
  • Can or is beginning to count using one-to-one correspondence. (Pointing at each item in a pile as he counts.)
  • Can sort items by at least one way they are alike (by common attribute).
  • Can identify the colors in an 8-count crayon box ( black, blue, brown, green, orange, red, purple, yellow) either verbally or by pointing to the correct color.

Skills: Pre Reading/Literacy:

Pre-reading skills are a precursor knowing how to sequence a story, tell a story , understand that letters and words work together to make stories. and eventually begin to read sight words.

  • Recites or sings the alphabet.
  • Visually identifies some of the letters.
  • Can match some letters to sounds or sounds to letters. ;
  • Likes listening to stories/books.
  • Recognizes own name when it's written or typed.
  • Can tell if two words rhyme, but might not be able to give a third word that rhymes with them.
  • Tries to write his own name, with the same letters or symbols each time.
  • Can draw a picture to illustrate an idea.
  • Recognizes some environmental print (i.e., the logo of favorite restaurant, food, or other signs)
  • Knows how to hold a book correctly (i.e. right side up, where the front cover is)

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