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Getting Ready for Kindergarten

How do I know if my child is ready to start kindergarten?

First, it is important to know if your child meets the state minimum age requirement of five-years-old on or before September 1 of the kindergarten year. If your child can demonstrate the following skills then you know your child is ready to start kindergarten!

Emotional and Social Skills

  • Gets along with others, shares, plays, takes turns and participates in activities
  • Takes care of toilet needs independently (flushes, washes hands)
  • Demonstrates self-help skills (buttons, zips, snaps)
  • Can dress for outside play independently
  • Pays attention to a short story when it is read aloud (looks at speaker, listens quietly)
  • Remembers directions and carries out 2 or 3 simple tasks after being told (pick up the book, bring me the pencil and close the door)
  • Keeps track of and can be responsible for personal belongings
  • Separates easily from parent
  • Uses words to obtain attention appropriately
  • Accepts limits and will change his or her behavior when provided with verbal directions
  • Shows curiosity and interest in learning

Motor Skills

  • Can print name using a capital letter at beginning and the remainder in lower case letters
  • Alternates feet walking down stairs
  • Can run, jump and hop 
  • Can throw and catch a ball
  • Draws and colors, beyond a simple scribble
  • Uses scissors, pencils, crayons, glue and glue sticks carefully 
  • Can name and copy a square, circle, triangle and rectangle
  • Can cut out simple shapes

Cognitive Skills

  • Can retell a story using pictures and answer simple questions about it
  • Repeats simple rhymes (nursery rhymes, simple songs)
  • Uses five-six word sentences
  • Can express needs and be understood 
  • Can recognize name and letters in own name 
  • Recognizes some letters of the alphabet
  • Can recognize numerals 0-10 in random order 
  • Can count out loud to 20 
  • Can recognize eight basic colors
  • Understands terms such as:
  • Big and little
  • Up and down
  • Over and under
  • Empty and full
  • More and less
  • Between and next to
  • Long and short
  • Front and back
  • Hot and cold
  • Fast and slow
  • First and last

Work Skills

  • Keeps hands, arms and feet to self when working and playing with others 
  • Waits appropriately
  • Uses materials and toys respectfully, purposefully and appropriately
  • Stays on task