kindergarten readiness checklist

Kindergarten readiness checklist (and how to master it!)

Autumn will be here before we know it! If you have a little one who is kindergarten-aged, you may be wondering if he or she is ready. Our kindergarten readiness checklist will help you decide, and also show you how to work on key skills. Ready to dig in?

Emotional kindergarten readiness checklist:

Can your child:

  • Separate from parents?
  • Understand that she can depend on you returning at the end of the day?

These milestones matter for obvious reasons…you need to be able to drop off your kid without an ordeal, right? Now, MANY kids struggle the first day or two, but that second part of this checklist (the part where the child can learn to depend on you returning) is what will turn the tide. If you have a child who really struggles with separation anxiety, it can help to have a very rigid routine or short ritual you do every day. Some kids benefit from photos tucked into their pocket or backpack of their family, and practice sessions leading up to the start of school.

Social kindergarten readiness checklist:

Can your child:

  • Listen without interrupting?
  • Wait his turn?
  • Express feelings and emotions with words?
  • Play appropriately with other kids?
  • Follow simple directions?

Social skills are needed to start school not only to help your kid make friends and enjoy his environment, but also to help the learning process. Kids who are simply not ready to wait their turn, listen to simple instructions, or sit for short amounts of time won’t be able to absorb all that kindergarten has to offer. If your child struggles with using her words, for instance, role playing different playground and classroom scenarios can help. Teach her a few key phrases she can use, such as, ‘Can I play?’ or ‘Can I have a turn?’

Developmental kindergarten readiness checklist:

Can your child:

  • Identify letters and/or know many of the sounds a letter makes?
  • Write his name and holds a pencil or crayon correctly?
  • Complete a 12 piece puzzle?
  • Hold and use scissors correctly?
  • Run, jump, skip, and manages stairs?
  • Count up to 10 objects?
  • Go to the bathroom by herself?

Don’t sweat it if your child can’t do ALL of the above. But he should be close to achieving most, and definitely needs to be able to manage buttons and zippers and shoes. If that’s a struggle, that’s what elastic-waisted pants and leggings are for! Practice at home during the summer, reading to your child, doing art projects that involve crayons and scissors, and counting objects while in the car or while on a walk. Language-building activities can be done anywhere!

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Kindergarten readiness checklist: what your child needs to know before they go!

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