This guide for parents highlights a few skills and concepts that can be introduced at home to ease the transition into kindergarten. School readiness is best taught in small doses with lots of repetition, without pressure. Young children develop so quickly. If they cannot do something one week, they may be able to do it a few weeks later.

  • Follows simple instructions
  • Separates from parents without getting upset
  • Responds to authority
  • Shares with others
  • Takes turns
  • Speaks understandably
  • Manages bathroom needs
  • Buttons shirts, pants, coats, and zips up zippers
  • Knows how to tie/fasten shoes
  • Helps with chores, puts away toys, carries dishes, opens food packaging
  • Dresses self and brushes teeth
  • Uses Kleenex appropriately
  • Listens to stories and a person speaking without interrupting
  • Recognizes rhyming sounds
  • Identifies the beginning sound of some words
  • Looks at pictures and then tells a story
  • Remembers pictures from a printed page
  • Answers questions about a short story
  • Understands print concepts, such as how to hold a book, what the cover is, and that reading goes from left to right
  • Knows some nursery rhymes
  • Knows age and birthday
  • Knows phone number
  • Prints own name (only first letter is capital)
  • Knows to call 911 in an emergency
  • Shows understanding of day and night
  • Cuts with scissors
  • Traces basic shapes
  • Sorts similar objects by color, size, and shape
  • Recognizes groups of one, two, three, four, and five objects
  • Counts to ten
  • Completes simple puzzles
  • Colors better than scribbling
The most important part of entering kindergarten is that children are healthy, capable, and eager to learn.