Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

How do you know if your child is ready for Kindergarten? There are many factors which weigh into whether a child will flourish a traditional Kindergarten class or whether he would be better-served in a transitional Kindergarten program. Social and emotional readiness is a major consideration. A child’s stamina (does she have the physical wherewithal to complete a full day of school?) should be factored in. Is it important to the parents for their child to be one of the older students in the class as opposed to one of the youngest?

And then, of course, there is the major question about how prepared the child is in terms of reading/phonic competencies, math skills, small and large motor movements, and age-appropriate life skills. The purpose of the post is to outline, in greater detail, readiness markers for this last group of factors. As parents, in partnership with their school, assess a child’s readiness for Kindergarten, they should take inventory of how their child performs in the area below.


Hold a pencil correctly Write first name
Trace on a line Recognize and name the letters of the alphabet
Draw a circle,  and a square, rectangle and triangle (with definite corners) Tell a story in sequence (first, next, last)
Draw a person Follow three verbal directions in sequence
Hold scissors correctly & cut on various styles of lines Listen to a story and retell the details in sequence
Cut out items & glue onto a different piece of paper Speak in complete sentences
Stand on one foot for a count of 5 Identify the beginning sounds of words (e.g., box starts with a B and table starts with a T)
Hop on one foot for at least 5 hops Find the letters or pictures on a paper to accomplish a task (e.g., Which picture begins with T – ball, car or table?)
Catch a small and large playground ball Work at a reading task & complete with classmates for at least 10 minutes, both whole class and small group
Bounce a big ball 5 consecutive times When writing letters, sticks and balls should be used and counterclockwise. Names should be written with correct upper and lowercase letters
Walk on a straight line
String beads or other small items  MATH
Complete a 24-piece jigsaw puzzle Recognize numbers 0 – 10
Count to 25 or beyond
LIFE SKILLS Write and recognize numbers 0 – 9 using correct format
Identify body parts (knees, chin, elbows, etc.) Place items in a pattern (shapes, colors, numbers to extend the pattern)
Stay on task for one activity for 15 minutes without changing activity (Legos, puzzle, coloring, etc.) Predict what comes next in the pattern
Take care of personal needs: zippers, buttons, shoes Identify a counting pattern (e.g., 2, 2, 3, 2, 2, 3)
Demonstrate self-sufficiency in taking care of packing & unpacking backpack, opening containers in lunchbox Count objects accurately and write the number
Recite the days of the week, months of the year, birthday and phone number Complete a dot-to-dot with a 1-1 correspondence
Identify one more or one less than the number (e.g., What is one more than 3?)
Work at a math task with a group for 10 minutes
Complete the task in both whole and small groups
Introduce skip counting by 5’s and 10’s


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