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Essential Skills for Kindergarteners

Is your child ready for kindergarten? Although each child is unique and develops at his or her own pace, most educators and developmental experts agree upon a certain set of skills as essential tools for further development and achievement in school. Here’s a checklist of the developmental skills children need exposure to and knowledge of before they enter kindergarten.

Social skills

  • Uses words to solve problems or conflicts
  • Uses words like please, thank you and excuse me
  • Adjusts to new situations
  • Attempts new tasks knowing it’s okay to make mistakes
  • Shows pride in accomplishments
  • Follows a simple direction

Motor skills

  • Puts puzzles together
  • Cuts with scissors
  • Holds and uses crayons, markers, pens, and pencils correctly
  • Builds using blocks

Reasoning & concept development

  • Matches or groups objects according to size, shape or color
  • Groups objects that are the same
  • Understands concepts of in/out, under/overon/offfront/back, etc.

 

Language skills

  • Talks in sentences
  • Follows one- and two-step oral directions
  • Uses sentences that include two or more ideas

 

Reading skills

  • Looks at books or pictures on their own
  • Pretends to read books by reading the pictures
  • Tries to read in everyday situations (signs, labels, etc.)
  • Recognizes rhyming words

 

Writing skills

  • Tries to write, scribble or draw
  • Asks you to write words or notes to others
  • Attempts to write own name and recognizes own name in print

Mathematics concepts

  • Compares the size of groups of objects using language such as “more,” “less” and “same as”
  • Arranges objects in size order (big to small, or small to big)
  • Uses comparison words, like “bigger,” “smaller,” “heavier,” etc.

 

Science

  • Shows interest and asks questions about objects and events observed in their environment
  • Notices common properties and differences among objects and materials
  • Knows some facts about common plants and animals, such as what they eat and baby names
  • Recognizes some objects in the sky such as the sun, moon, clouds, and lightning

Creative arts & music

  • Recognizes and names basic colors
  • Draws recognizable shapes and simple objects
  • Tells a story with pictures
  • Moves to a beat
  • Explores with common musical instruments
  • Enjoys improvising or copying musical patterns

Social studies

  • Recognizes basic traditions such as birthdays
  • Understands that people live in different parts of the worlds and have different customs and traditions
  • Explores simple maps and visual representations of neighborhoods or communities

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