Is my child ready for kindergarten checklist

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Checklist • Kids Activities Blog

ByMonica S Updated on

Is my child ready for kindergarten? It is a question that I asked three times. One with each kid!

Today we have made that much easier for you with a Kindergarten readiness checklist that you can print and check off skills that your child already has or needs to work on. Every kid deserves to BE READY for kindergarten!

Kindergarten-readiness can look different for each child, but we have some guidelines to help!

What should Kindergarteners Know?

Kindergarten is an exciting time for kids. There is a lot of learning, play and growth during the ages of 4-6. Going to school – kindergarten – plays a big role in preparing academic skills necessary for kids to be successful in elementary school. But…you don’t want to push them into a stressful situation they aren’t ready for!

We have a massive resource of kindergarten activities that will keep your 4-6 year old busy and learning.

Kindergarten Readiness – How to Know if Your Child is Read to Start Kindergarten

Although children develop at different rates, there are some skills that they need to have before entering kindergarten – which is why we made a printable list of tasks that children should be able to complete before taking this big step!

If you are wondering how to make this transition easier for your little one, first you need to make sure your little one is prepared for kindergarten.

Kindergarten Prep

As your toddler grows up and gets closer to entering kindergarten, you may be wondering these big questions:

  • How can I know if my child is ready for this step?
  • What does school readiness mean and how can I measure it?
  • Which skills are required for Kindergarten’s first day of school?

We know these questions, among many others, are constantly roaming around your mind.

Deciding if your child is ready for kindergarten is a huge task. If you are looking for tips for getting ready for kindergarten, our kindergarten readiness checklist is just what you need.

When to Do the Kindergarten Checklist

I love using the kindergarten checklist as a loose guide of what types of activities and things my child needs to practice during the preschool years especially if you are doing preschool at home. There are so many ways to play with the needed skills and adds a little structure to activity time!

Playing together develops a lot of the skills children need to be ready for first day of Kindergarten!

Kindergarten Assessment Checklist

A printable version of the Kindergarten Readiness Skills Checklist is below

How much do you know about the different types of skills children are expected to have when they start kindergarten? Did you know that there are preschool skills that every preschool curriculum includes so that kids are “ready for Kindergarten”?

Kindergarten-Ready Language Skills
  • Can name & recognize 5 colors
  • Can name & recognize 10+ letters
  • Can recognize own name in print
  • Matches letters to letter sounds they make
  • Recognizes words rhyme
  • Can write all or most of the letters of the alphabet in own first name
  • Recognizes common words and signs
  • Understands descriptive words like big, little, etc.
  • Can draw pictures to tell a story
  • Uses words to clearly verbalizes a story or own experiences
  • Follows two-step directions
  • Can answer who, what, when, where questions in complete sentences
  • Asks questions about how things work
  • Stars and joins in conversations
  • Recites common nursery rhymes
  • Shows interest in reading and being able to read
  • Holds and looks at a book correctly
  • Makes inferences about the plot of a story from the cover
  • Can retell a simple story
  • Speaks clearly and listens appropriately
Kindergarten Readiness Math Skills
  • Can order 3 things in a sequence
  • Can repeat a simple pattern
  • Matches 2 like things
  • Sorts objects by shape, color and size
  • Matches items that go together
  • Counts objects from 1-10
  • Orders numbers from 1-10
  • Identifies numbers from 1-10
  • Uses objects to demonstrate greater than and less than
  • Understands the amount a number represents
  • Adds and subtracts simple objects
  • Can draw a line, circle, rectangle, triangle and plus sign
  • Starts positive interactions with others
  • Takes turns, shares, plays with others
  • Resolves conflicts with peers appropriately
  • Expresses feelings appropriately
  • Responds appropriately to own and others’ feelings
  • Says “please”, “thank you” and expresses feelings in words
  • Tries to complete tasks
  • Holds writing instruments with control – See how to hold a pencil for help!
  • Uses scissors to cut with control
  • Can recite name – first and last name, address and phone number
  • Knows how old he/she is
  • Can use the bathroom, wash hands, get dressed including button shirts and put on shoes without assistance
  • Is able to adapt to new situations
  • Can run, jump, hop, throw, catch and bounce a ball
Download & print our Kindergarten Readiness Checklist to help identify your child’s readiness…

Kindergarten Readiness Checklist PDF – How to Download

Can your kid name and recognize five colors? Are they able to draw pictures to tell a story? Do they know how to take turns, share, and play with other kids? Can they express their feelings positively? Do they know how to count to 10?

Download Kindergarten Readiness Checklist PDF Here:

Remember that it’s completely normal for kids to have strong skills in one area while others are a bit weaker. And that’s fine!

Don’t put too much pressure on your child based on the Kindergarten Checklists, remember we all learn and develop at different speeds; and at the end of the day, this printable list is just a way to get an idea of where to offer your kids some extra help.

All ready for the first day of Kindergarten!

Free Resources for Kindergarten Prep

  • Check out over 1K preschool activities and craft ideas from Kids Activities Blog that can be a playful learning experience! Fun practice for things like writing, use scissors, basic shapes, gluing and more!
  • While you may never feel like a “homeschooler”, we have a massive resource of how to homeschool preschool that can help you fill in the gaps of any skills your child needs to expand.
  • Looking for some simple solutions to preschool learning? Our expansive list of best-selling preschool workbooks can assist.
  • It is not all about the education and facts that kids know. In fact, much of the preschool and Kindergarten learning process is through observation, play and learning. Check out this smart advice on teaching life skills to kids.
  • We have over 75 free Kindergarten worksheets that you can download and print as part of your Kindergarten readiness plan.

One of my favorite activities for igniting curiosity and enhancing fine motor skills are crafts! Here you will find 21 handpicked crafts for 3 year olds for everyday fun.

Even the littlest ones can start getting ready for kindergarten, no matter how young! These activities for 1 year olds are a sure way to encourage their development with super fun activities.

Language skills, reading readiness skills, math skills, social and emotional skills, fine motor skills, are just some of them. Help your little one develop these skills with hands on activities for kids which are both fun and engaging.

The transition to Kindergarten will be easier if kids are ready.

Making the Decision for Kindergarten

Bottom line here is every kid is different and you need to get as much data as you can to make this decision, but above all, trust your gut.

I mentioned that I had this question three times. My boys are now all teenagers, but I can still feel the stress of this question on me and my husband like it was yesterday!

And I felt like I made the wrong decision for one of my boys. I felt like that for YEARS…I was pushed into placing him in first grade when my heart said he would be better off in Kindergarten. It was a struggle at first for him as he tried to catch up in first grade. He was slow to pick up reading which only intensified my regret.

This month he was offered a very significant college scholarship and admittance to the honors college. I say that because as parents we are often very hard on ourselves when in reality we are doing the best we can. This decision is important, but so are the million other tiny decisions that follow.

Kids mature and learn at different paces and the best thing for us to do is try and support that in whatever way is possible.

You got this!

Monica S

Kindergarten Readiness Checklist | Understood

When kids are getting ready for kindergarten, many families wonder about academic skills. But self-care and social and emotional skills are important for kindergarten readiness, too. For example, does your child need help using the bathroom? Learn about the different kinds of skills kids are expected to have when they start kindergarten.

Language skills

  • Speak in complete sentences and be understood by others most of the time
  • Use words to express needs and wants
  • Understand two-step directions
  • Make comparisons and describe relationships between objects like big/little, under/over, and first/last

Reading readiness skills

  • Enjoy listening to stories
  • Know how to find the first page of a book and which way to flip the pages
  • Recognize familiar logos and signs, like stop signs
  • Recite the alphabet and identify most of the letters
  • Recognize and try to write their own name
  • Recognize when two words rhyme (like cat and bat)
  • Start to connect letter sounds to letters (like the sound of the first letter in their name)
  • Draw a picture to help express an idea

Math skills

  • Count from 1 to 10 without skipping numbers
  • Match a number to a group of five or fewer items (“I see three cats”)
  • Recognize and name basic shapes (square, circle, triangle, rectangle)
  • Understand more than and less than
  • Arrange three objects in the right order (like from smallest to biggest)
  • Name or point to the colors in a box of eight crayons

Self-care skills

  • Use the bathroom and wash up on their own
  • Get dressed on their own (but may still need help with buttons, zippers, and shoelaces)
  • Know and can say their first and last name and age

Social and emotional skills

  • Separate from a parent or caregiver without getting overly upset
  • Interact with other kids
  • Pay attention for at least five minutes to a task an adult is leading, like listening to directions for an activity or discussing the day’s weather during circle time

Fine motor skills

  • Use a pencil or crayon with some control
  • Use scissors
  • Copy basic shapes
  • Make distinct marks that look like letters and write some actual letters, especially the ones in their name
  • Put together a simple puzzle

Gross motor skills

  • Run
  • Jump with feet together
  • Hop on one foot
  • Climb stairs
  • Bounce a ball and try to catch it

How to help your rising kindergartner

Kids develop skills at different rates. It’s not unusual for kids to have strong skills in one area and weak skills in other areas. Some states use kindergarten readiness tests to get a sense of which early learners might need extra help in some areas.

If you’re concerned your child isn’t ready for kindergarten, talk with your child's preschool teacher and work together to come up with a plan to address any trouble spots. You might also want to talk with your child’s health care provider. Learn about the pros and cons of delaying kindergarten for a year.

If your child is headed for kindergarten, explore these steps for a smooth transition. You might also want to see a set of videos on what kindergarten academic skills look like in action.

Key takeaways

  • Kids develop skills at different rates and might be strong in some areas and weak in others.

  • Some states use kindergarten readiness tests to see if kids need extra help in certain areas.

  • If you’re concerned your child might not be ready for kindergarten, talk to your child’s preschool teacher about how to help.

    Tell us what interests you

    About the author

    About the author

    Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days. 

    Reviewed by

    Reviewed by

    Kristen L. Hodnett, MSEd is a clinical professor in the department of special education at Hunter College in New York City.

    How to understand if a child is ready for kindergarten

    A lot and in detail is written about readiness for school: a 7-year-old child is already almost an adult. And you can analyze it in an adult way. Whether business - a three-year-old! For citizens from 2 to 4 years old, there are no reliably clear tests for IQ and EQ. And not every psychologist is able to “by eye” distinguish someone who is not yet ready from someone who, in principle - from now on and forever - is not Sadovsky. Therefore, let's go literally to the touch, although psychologists still put a few restrictive flags on us.

    Marina Slinkova, family psychologist

    Essentially, "garden readiness" implies two aspects: readiness for separation and readiness for autonomy (that is, self-service).

    Ready for autonomy

    With self-service, everything is more or less clear. There is a certain list of requirements that an applicant for the position of a kindergartener must meet. Each preschool educational institution may have its own nuances, but in general the list looks like this:

    You need to be able to go to the nursery:

    • fall asleep on their own without a pacifier and motion sickness on the handles
    • drink on their own - from a cup, not from a bottle and not from a drinker
    • eat on their own. At least with your hands
    • do without a diaper while you are awake, ask for a potty, or at least tell your elders that you didn’t reach the potty

    For the younger group (3+ years), in addition to the above, you must:

    • have experience of communication and interaction with other children (in the sandbox or in early development groups)
    • show interest in drawing, sculpting and other activities
    • speak in simple sentences
    • independently (though not at speed) put on pants or a dress

    if you're trying to infiltrate, have a reputation for being "good" and are famous for their "custom approach", then you can still take a chance. If there are more than two points of discrepancy, or if the total number of children in the group does not allow one to hope for an individual approach, then it is better not to rush. Stay at home for a few more months and refine the necessary skills with your baby.

    Readiness for separation

    Anna Devyatka, psychologist-consultant

    Readiness for the garden is, first of all, readiness for the beginning of separation from parents. At this point, a healthy attachment to the mother should already be formed. The child can calmly move away for a while and feel good, because he knows that his mother will return.

    Roughly speaking, a child is not ready for the garden until he has had enough of his parents. That is, the more time you spent with the child, the higher the likelihood that he is ready for short-term separations. For some reason, until now, many parents believe that children accustomed to hands and accustomed to "hold on to their mother's skirt" will have difficulty socializing and will not fit well into the garden. In fact, everything is exactly the opposite. This phenomenon was described in detail in the 40s of the last century by John Bowlby, an English psychologist, the author of the theory of attachment. In those days, various experiments with the human psyche were generally in vogue. One of them looked like this: a mother with a child went out into a green meadow and sat down in a chair. The child went to explore the surroundings, now and then looking back at his mother. He turns around, she smiles at him - he boldly moves on. And now, at some point, the baby turns around - but there is no mother (she hid behind a chair). He begins to look around anxiously, then to cry, runs to the place where he saw his mother for the last time ... She appears, takes him in her arms, calms him down - and sits down in the chair again. This time the child does not go so far, but looks back more often ... At some point, the mother disappears again. Then he finds himself again... And after the third disappearance, the child no longer goes for a walk on his own. He stands by the armchair, clinging to his mother, and weeps softly.

    Age of readiness

    All children are different: some feel great in the nursery, others are not capable of long separations from their mother until school. But some statistical norms still exist.

    Anna Devyatka, psychologist-consultant

    Separation of a child from parents occurs throughout life, in several stages, and in a successful version ends by the age of 20-25. These stages are marked by age crises. And the first two fall just for 1 year and 3 years. Giving the child to the garden, you must either manage to slip between them, or wait until the crisis of three years has passed.

    You can understand that the stage of the crisis has been passed by the behavior of the baby: he is moderately calm and satisfied, does not throw tantrums at home, contacts children at playgrounds without any special problems (not scared, but not aggressive) and, having played too much, forgets to look back at you. If you caught this moment at 2 years old, you can try to infiltrate the nursery. If not, you will have to wait for the crisis to end for 3 years (and it can drag on up to 4). But to hope that adaptation in the garden will go well when a person is already in a state of crisis is at least naive.

    How to distinguish adaptation from unpreparedness

    Of course, every family child will cry at the first separation ... This does not mean that he is not ready for the garden. This means that separation is stressful. And all healthy children react to stress in approximately the same way: with a roar. Any educator will tell you that during the period of adaptation, children should not be left in the garden for longer than 3 hours and it is better to take them before daytime sleep: that is, at first he comes to the garden to have breakfast and play - and that's it.

    Marina Slinkova, family psychologist

    Crying is a normal reaction, any child reacts to stress by crying. But nausea, fever, even frequent “colds” when separated from mom are a signal that the child is not ready.

    Of course, entering a new team is a meeting with unfamiliar microbes. Immunity trains - and at this stage absolutely all children get sick. But it’s one thing to be sick one week a month, and quite another to live in the “2 days we walk, 2 weeks we get sick” mode.

    Anna Devyatka, counseling psychologist

    If a child in the garden does not play with children, but only cries, or starts screaming at night, begins to urinate or gets sick often - take it. If the parent does not perceive other distress signals, the child goes into illness.

    You will still have to be on sick leave all the time - the employer is unlikely to appreciate this. So better use your right to parental leave - sit with him yourself until he matures to the garden.

    Do not pedal the issue of "socialization". Sometimes you just have to grow up to it. It will be easier for a child to communicate with peers at school if he feels protected and loved all 7 years before school than if he spends his best years sobbing alone in the garden on a high chair.

    Read also:

    Relax Delay: Why is a child silent

    5 The main differences of a modern child from past children

    Text: Julia Verklova

    Photo: Evgeny Atamanenko/Romorodo /Predrag Popovski/

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    useful information

    MFCs accept documents only by appointment (with the exception of some services).
    You can pick up the result of the service without an appointment.
    An hour before the closing of the center, the issuance of coupons for the electronic queue for receiving and issuing documents is stopped.

    Useful information

    We have already told you how to enroll your baby in kindergarten. This material contains answers to the most common questions parents have about what to do after applying to kindergarten.

    Application sent, what to expect next?

    The application is submitted for consideration to a specially created commission that deals with the recruitment of kindergartens. Each district has its own, it is formed by the administration of the district of St. Petersburg (Administration).

    Within 10 working days, the commission must consider the application and register the child for further enrollment. A notification about this comes to the Personal Account.

    10 business days term for consideration of application

    What does the status “Awaiting a response from the applicant” mean?

    Such a status appears in the status change history if there are no free places in the kindergartens selected by the applicant. In this case, the Acquisition Commission offers a place in another kindergarten.

    You can respond to the Commission's proposal only in your Personal Account by selecting one of the options:

    • “Applicant agrees with the proposal of the IOGV”;
    • "Applicant does not agree with the proposal of the IOGA."

    In the "Checking the status of the application" section, this option is not available.

    In case of refusal or absence of refusal / consent within 15 calendar days from the date of issue of the notification, the application for registering the child is transferred to the list of future pupils of the next year in the kindergartens indicated initially, with the date of registration retained.

    How to understand that the queue has come?

    When your turn comes, a direction to kindergarten will be sent to your Personal Account on the portal. It is usually issued no later than June 30 (this year until August 1), and during the recruitment period - if there is free space in the kindergarten.

    After receiving the referral, you must contact the kindergarten within 30 calendar days to apply for enrollment and draw up an agreement. You need to take with you:

    • direction;
    • original documents attached when applying.

    After receiving the referral, contact the kindergarten within 30 days

    What if you can't come to the garden during those 30 days?

    Be sure to have time to apply to kindergarten. Otherwise, you will receive a no-show notice.

    In this case, you will have to personally apply to the Commission for the recruitment of kindergartens in your area with an application to reinstate the child in the queue.

    Learn more