Education Development Milestones: Kindergarten Readiness


It's that time of the year! Parents are preparing their children to return to school, or in some cases, begin school for the first time. The following is a list of Kindergarten readiness skills across various domains. Mastery of these skills prior to starting Kindergarten would assist your child in being ready to learn. In addition, kindergarten social ready kits can help your child's development and enhancement of skills.

Reading Skills for Kindergarten Preparedness

What Preschoolers Need to Know to Move On - Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

This checklist of skills can also serve as an outline for parents who are working with their preschool age children. If you're wondering what kinds of learning activities you should be doing with your 3, 4, and young 5-year olds, these skills are great places to start.

Concepts of Print

Even before they are able to read, a preschooler can show what is called concepts of print. This is the understanding the basic rules of how printed text works. Your child can demonstrate Kindergarten-ready concepts of print by:

  • Orienting a book properly
  • Turning the pages in the correct direction
  • Understanding that text is read from left to right
  • Being able to point to a single letter versus a single word
  • Understanding that illustrations are used to compliment the text

Phonemic Awareness

This is the understanding that language is made of individual sounds (phonemes). Your child can demonstrate Kindergarten-ready phonemic awareness by:

  • Produce some named sounds
  • Identifying some sounds produced by others
  • Identifying sounds at the beginning of words
  • Blending sounds produced by others to make words

Phonics (Letter Sounds)

The understanding that sounds are represented by letters:

Math Skills for Kindergarten Readiness

One-to-one Correspondence - Math Foundations

 This is the understanding that numbers represent a particular quantity. Your child can demonstrated Kindergarten-ready math skills by:

  • Counting to 20
  • Recognizing numbers through 20
  • Understanding that the written form of a number represents a particular quantity
  • Understanding that the spoken form of a number represents a particular quantity

Language Skills for Preschoolers

The ability to comprehend spoken language and use age-appropriate language. Your child can demonstrate Kindergarten-ready language skills by :

  • Being able to follow multi-step related directions
  • Being able to follow multi-step unrelated directions
  • Engaging in age-appropriate exchanges with peers and adults
  • Retelling events or stories

Writing Skills for Kindergarten Preparedness

Fine Motor Skills

Being able to coordinate small muscle groups, generally the hands and fingers, to perform tasks. Your child can demonstrate Kindergarten-ready fine motor skills by:

  • Using an age-appropriate, functional pencil grasp
  • Being able to replicate shapes and letters with some degree of accuracy when provided with a model
  • Using scissors appropriately
  • Attempting to write his/her own name
  • Using age-appropriate posture to sit properly to engage in fine motor activities
  • Getting dressed independently

Kindergarten preparedness skills - Is your preschooler ready? Love this checklist of kindergarten readiness skills

Social Skills for Pre-K

Being able to interact with others appropriately. Your child can demonstrate Kindergarten-ready social skills by :

  • Engaging in imaginative play
  • Using age-appropriate language to communicate with peers
  • Being able to take turns with minimal prompting
  • Understanding how to share
  • Demonstrating age-appropriate manners

For most children, beginning Kindergarten is a huge transition, with exposure to so many new concepts, people, and expectations. Helping your preschooler prepare for the things he or she will be facing can be a confidence booster. I hope this list helps you and your child feel confident about embarking on this new educational adventure together!

What are your tips for Kindergarten prep?

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Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, and work-at-home mother to two young children, Lydia (age 5) and Bryce (age 3). Carrie graduated from the University of Florida in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and in 2002 with a Master’s degree in special education. After teaching children ages 3 – 21 with varying abilities for several years, she completed her Doctorate in special education in 2008 from Nova Southeastern University. In March 2010, Carrie began writing Huppie Mama, a lifestyle blog focusing on family, food, fun, fashion, and fitness.

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