Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

Kindergarten Readiness

The educational road for children today starts at an early age. Kindergarten readiness are skills that children need to have before entering school. Some parents choose to place their children in public preschool, but there many of the required readiness skills are easily learned at home.

Kindergarten Requirements:

Each school district has specific kindergarten readiness requirements. The majority of districts agree that kindergarten requirements should include:

  • Writes First Name – Each child should be able to write their first name using upper and lower case letters.
  • Knows Personal Information – They should be able to tell their teacher their full name, address, birthday and telephone number.
  • Counts to Ten – Kindergarten children should also be able to count to ten.
  • Reads Simple Words- Understand a few simple written words like stop and go
  • Clear Sentences – Be able to speak in complete sentences

Some of the other kindergarten standards include following directions, putting on and taking off their jacket or coat, and putting toys or personal items away. Social skills required for kindergarten include being able to separate from their parents without an emotional outburst, listening to others without interrupting, and being able to play independently.

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Fine Motor Skills:

Many of the kindergarten readiness requirements involve fine motor skills. Examples of fine motor skills include tying a shoe, gripping a pencil and using scissors and silverware properly. The ability to hold small objects, and open and shut small containers is another fine motor skill that can be improved by allowing children to play with jewelry boxes, small bottles with lids and stringing beads. Being able to move one finger at a time is an important pre-skill for typing. Many children are exposed to computer keyboards at an early age; however, learning to press one finger down at a time in sequence is a more difficult task. Keyboards, even toy ones, allow preschoolers to practice this difficult skill while making “music” and having fun.

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Gross Motor Skills:

Everyone has some degree of gross motor skills. Standing on one foot in the middle of a mud puddle may result in a mess, but the motor skill that is being refined is balance. The ability to balance, to move their bodies without falling over or running into people and learning left and right are all part of the group of gross motor skills.

When preschoolers have mastered basic gross motor skills, they can learn to ride a bike. Playing hopping games, walking a tapeline forwards, backwards and sideways are fun ways to help improve a child’s gross motor skills. Learning to bounce a ball, or throw a ball into a bucket or tub is another way to help them learn to control their bodies. Directional games help reinforce left and right and if a child can recognize the letter “L” these types of games can be more fun by using hand signals. The left hand, when the thumb is extended, forms an “L.” Turn left only requires that they see and recognize the letter of the hand making the signal.

Helping your child gain kindergarten readiness skills will not be hard or time consuming. Many games and family activities provide the basis for these skills types of skills to be learned.

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