Skip to content

What academic skills should my child have before Kindergarten? In order to show Kindergarten readiness, your child should be able to:

  • recognize and name basic shapes: square, circle, triangle, and rectangle
  • recognize and name numbers 1-10, even when they are out of order
  • count to 20
  • count 10 objects, pointing to each one as she counts
  • say or sing the alphabet
  • recognize most of the letters of the alphabet, both uppercase and lowercase (even out of order)
  • identify colors in an 8-ct crayon pack
  • recognize his/her first name
  • write his/her first name
  • sort items by size, color, or shape
  • hold a book and turn pages
  • tell if two words rhyme
  • identify some letter sounds
  • know address (street and city)

A child doesn’t need to be reading before Kindergarten (and most kids aren’t), but your child should be read to regularly. Teaching nursery rhymes is a great way to get kids reading-ready: knowing how to rhyme is HUGE when it comes to learning how to read.

What other things (non-academic) does my child need to know how to do before Kindergarten? Your child should be able to:

  • put on his/her coat and zip it up
  • put on his/her shoes independently
  • take turns and share
  • sit quietly and listen
  • follow multiple step directions
  • use the bathroom by him/herself (including zipping and buttoning pants, and privacy rules!)
  • put on his/her backpack
  • hold a pencil or crayon with tripod grip
  • cut with scissors
  • put things away
  • wash his/her hands with soap
  • use a tissue to wipe his/her nose
  • cough into his/her elbow
  • stand in line
  • raise his/her hand and wait to be called on
  • open any food containers in his/her lunch or be able to ask for help

Some extra things parents can do to get their child ready for Kindergarten:

  • Teach kindness & respect (for rules, property, and people).
  • Do activities at home where your child has to listen without interrupting, take turns, focus on the same activity for 15 minutes, use manners, etc.
  • Read, read, read and read some more!
  • Give your child opportunities to play with other children.
  • Give your child some responsibilities and teach him/her to follow through.
  • Teach nursery rhymes and songs.
  • Give your child chances to be away from home and family so he/she feels comfortable and confident when he/she comes to school.
  • Give your child opportunities to be independent!