AUTHOR: Cassy Christianson

Get Ready for Kindergarten!



Being ready for kindergarten means that your child is able to attend to and learn the information being presented in the academic setting and is emotionally able to interact appropriately with her teacher and fellow students.

What are some of the skills expected of a child entering kindergarten?

  • Can identify letters, and knows many of the sounds a letter makes
  • Can identify the beginning sound of some words and may recognize some common sight words
  • Can write his name and holds a pencil or crayon correctly
  • Can complete a 12 piece puzzle
  • Can hold and use scissors correctly
  • Runs, jumps, skips and manages stairs
  • Counts up to 10 objects
  • Listens without interrupting
  • Can pay attention for a short time period to an adult directed task
  • Follows simple directions
  • Can wait his turn and expresses feelings with words, as opposed to being physical when angry
  • Can play appropriately with other children
  • Can go to the bathroom by himself
  • Can separate from parents

What are some things I can do to prepare my child for kindergarten?

  • Read daily with your child and discuss what you read. Connect it to her daily experience. If reading a book about animals, relate it to your last visit to the zoo. 
  • Have an active social life. Give your child lots of opportunities to play with others and practice sharing and social skills. 
  • Encourage your child’s independence by giving them chores around the house; have her select her clothes, dress herself, help her make her own snack.  
  • Help your child ‘write’ letters to friends and family members. You can begin by tracing letters on paper or in the sand box. Graduate to pencil and paper writing and have it available to work with.
  • Play sound games including rhyming words, making up silly songs, repeating tongue twisters.
  • Talk to your child about kindergarten and what her day will be like, visit the school if possible and try to set up a play date with future classmates. Encourage your child to talk to you about kindergarten as well.

If you have serious reservations about whether your child is ready for kindergarten, some districts offer kindergarten evaluations and can give you feedback. You may also consider having your child formally assessed by a psychologist who can assist you in your decision making process for kindergarten.

Resources–schools/pre-academic-skills/articles/toolkit-pre-academic-skills.html More ideas from AbilityPath on helping ensure your child has developed appropriate academic skills. Information on how to launch a child into a bright future through reading.