Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten? A Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

With summer coming up, you may think it’s an odd time to worry about whether your child is ready for kindergarten, but it’s actually the perfect time. All kids develop at different rates and have different skills, but there are some common skills that a teacher may look for.

The good news is that if your child hasn’t mastered all of these skills, it’s not the end of the world and you can work on them over the summer. And, if your child hasn’t mastered many of them, you can speak with your pediatrician about any concerns you might have–before school begins in the fall.

Keep in mind that if your child has known developmental delays, some of these skills may not be where he is developmentally–and that’s okay!


o  Uses the bathroom without help.

o  Dresses self in the morning.

o  Can snap, button and/or zip.

o  Knows how to wash his hands.

Language & Communication:

Communication is how your child make his needs known and how he’ll interact with friends and teachers.

o  Knows first and last name

o  Speech is understandable by unfamiliar adults about 75% of the time

o  Uses 5 to 6 sentences

o  Uses words to express frustration

o  Follows 2- or 3-step directions

o  Understands positional words, such as under, over, behind, in front of

o  Understands and responds to basic questions


Getting along with others, sharing, and being slightly independent is a big  part of your child’s kindergarten experience.   

o  Separates from you without significant fear or anxiety

o  Explores new things

o  Can play with other children without needing constant supervision

o  Is able to wait his turn (or at least knows he should!)

o  Sticks with an adult-directed activity for at least 5 minutes

o  Recognizes other people have feelings

Fine Motor:

Find motor skills help your child with classroom work and self-help skills.

o  Traces lines and basic shapes

o  Can draw a line and a circle

o  Holds a pencil or crayon with a non-fisted grip

o  Can use scissors (but not perfectly)

Gross Motor:

Gross motor control is important in helping your child have the stamina to learn.

o  Is able to run and skip.

o  Jumps on two feet and tries to hop on one leg

o  Alternates feet climbing stairs

o  Walks backwards

o  Bounces a kickball.

o  Tries to catch a large ball with two hands

Math Readiness:

Math concepts are important when your child begins to work with numbers.

o  Recites 1 to 10 without skipping numbers.

o  Identifies  basic shapes, either verbally or by pointing to them.

o  Is beginning to count using one-to-one correspondence. (Pointing at each item in a pile as he counts.)

o  Sorts items by at least one common attribute

o  Identities  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

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.

o  Recites or sings the alphabet

o  Knows some of the letters by sight

o  Matches some letters to sounds or sounds to letters

o  Likes listening to stories/books

o  Recognizes his name in writing

o  Knows when two words rhyme (might not be able to give a third word that rhymes, though)

o  Tries to write his name

o  Draws a basic picture to illustrate an idea.

o  Recognizes some environmental print, such as the logo of favorite restaurant, toy, TV show, or road signs

o  Knows how to hold and page through a book

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