Is your child ready for Kindergarten?

Is your child ready for Kindergarten?

Many parents what to know whether or not their child is ready for kindergarten. Some have children whose birthday are in the late summer or early fall and close to our October 1stcut-off date. These parents ask if it is best to enroll now or wait until next year. Other parents want to know how to help prepare their child for entering Kindergarten.

Regardless of your child's birthday, all children entering Kindergarten should be able to perform certain tasks. As parents, we need to help our children get ready for Kindergarten. This can be a very fun and enjoyable time for you and your child. The following is a guideline to help you make this important decision.

There are many factors that go into the Kindergarten readiness decision. Although boys mature more slowly than girls, gender is not the most heavily relied upon factor when making this important decision. Understanding that each child develops at his or her own rate and that some develop faster in some areas than others, and recognizing individual strengths and weaknesses should be the determining factors.

The closer your child's fifth birthday is to October 1stcut-off date (i.e., late summer, early fall) the consideration for the future is, will your child be one of the youngest or the oldest in his or her grade? In general, being on the older side is better, but this is not always the case.

Take in consideration the physical characteristics of your child. Smaller children may find more security in smaller groups and may not be ready for a large classroom environment. Likewise, larger children are not necessarily ready either. With our emphasis on an academic curriculum, the decision to delay might be a wise one.

Experience in a structured preschool program or in a daycare setting for at least two years may have provided your child with the skills necessary for a successful Kindergarten year. With all things considered, our children need to be ready for Kindergarten.

Listed below are skills and activities that your child should know and be able to accomplish for a successful beginning of Kindergarten. These are age-appropriate expectations and can be easily learned with help. Suggestions for working with your child are included afterwards. Please keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive.


Knows and spells first name

Can orally say first and last name and recognize letters in name

Gives street address and phone number

Knows birthday (month and day)

Follows 2-3 step directions

Can identify and name shapes: circle, square, rectangle, triangle, oval

Can identify and name colors: red, yellow blue, orange, green, purple, black and white

Identifies likes and differences in pictures

Names pictures of familiar objects: boy, girl, tree, leaf, car, dog, key, cup, flower, etc.

Identifies body parts: head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, elbows, legs, feet, chin, shoulders, fingers, etc.

Answers questions

Listen to stories with interest (for approximately 10-15 minutes)

Listening without interrupting

Uses words to express feelings

Rhymes words

Can tell a story about a past event

Interested in books-pretends to read

Recognizes environmental print (Ex. Dunkin Donuts, Goldfish and Ritz crackers, Cheerios, etc.)

Can say and recognize the letters of the alphabet

Speaks with complete sentences (baby talk is for imaginative play, not for communicating)


Grasps/holds pencil with fingers

Can write first name

Can draw circle and square without help

Prints numbers 1-10

Can glue and paste

Cuts with (safely) scissors

Folds paper in half

Puts on own coat


Count objects to 10

Sorts objects by size, color and shape

Retells a story

Does puzzles of 15 or more pieces

Understands directional concepts-in, out, on, off

Can complete a pattern of two colors

Draws a person with six parts or more: head, nose, eyes, mouth, body, arms, legs, feet, fingers, etc.

Can sequence 3 or more pictures to tell a story


Can play in a group

Can stack at least 10 blocks

Gallops, skips, runs, jumps, hops, dances or moves to music

Catches, kicks, bounces a ball

Walks up and down stairs using alternate feet

Enjoys different sports

Can ride a tricycle

Stands on one foot for five seconds

Can hop on one foot

Walks forward heel-to-toe

Walks backwards toe-to-heel


Controls emotion-state his/her feelings not act them out

Enjoys playing with other children and being part of a group

Separates readily from mother without a fuss (five minutes of fussing is okay, more than that is note)

Can share and take turns.


Read to your child everyday!

Avoid comparing your child to others

Prepare child for school-give them opportunities to play and be a kids; play with peers

Explore the world-parks, museums, zoos, farms

Go on nature walks

Explore the neighborhood

Go to the library

Read aloud and tell stories

Teach your child basic safety information

Their first and last name

Street address

Parents' or guardians' names

Phone number

Walk to school and point out: traffic lights, crosswalks, driveways, bus stops, sidewalks, etc.


Arrange household items into groups, colors, size and shapes

Stack books from largest to smallest

Use measuring cups

Talk about time and temperature


Put away things to encourage responsibility

Set up play dates and help your child to get along with others, take turns, choose games, etc.

Help with listening and following mutli step directions (EX. "Hang up your coat, close the closet door, and come into the kitchen.")

Do simple chores-set or clean table (start with utensils and napkins), put away clothes and toys, hang up towel after bath, put books on shelf, matching/sorting socks

Dress without help-shoelaces, buckles, buttons, zippers and snaps

Playing-taking turns, following rules and directions

Care for living things-Give pets and plants food and water

Sleep well-10-12 hours per night

Limit TV-(For example, 1 hour per day no more than 8 hours per week) Watch TV with your child and ask questions about the characters or story

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