What should your child know and be able to do before he/she goes off to kindergarten?


10 skills to look for as your child develops in the months before kindergarten – but remember not all children will have every one of these skills before kindergarten starts, and that’s okay. Kindergarten teachers will support children’s development in the classroom.

  • plays cooperatively with other children most of the time
  • uses words to express feelings, like,  “I don’t like it when you push me!” or “That makes me mad!”
  • is able to help solve simple problems with adult support
  • follows directions with two or three steps, like, “Wash your hands, go get your lunch, and wait by the door.”
  • shows hand-eye coordination by buttoning pants or cutting around a large picture with scissors
  • recognizes some letters, particularly the letters in his/her own name
  • holds a pencil with thumb and forefinger instead of using a whole hand grasp to draw or write
  • tells a story about a picture and asks an adult to write it down
  • counts 10 or more objects, such as the steps leading up to his/her house
  • asks questions about everything


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