Things Your Child Should Know Before Entering Kindergarten

Posted by Sarah Rutzler on September 11, 2017

get ready for kindergartenKindergarten is a crucial year for children as their young minds begin their first year in a school system. They are entering an environment that has more intended goals and rules. Some children have a preschool background, while others do not. No matter what educational exposure a child may have, there are key things every child should know before entering kindergarten.

Here is an example checklist of what your child needs to know before starting kindergarten.

Letter Recognition

Letter recognition is the ability to identify letters of the alphabet. Your child should be able to:

  • Know all the letters in their first name
  • Write their first name with the first letter as an upper case and the remaining letters lower case
  • Identify most upper and lower case letters
  • Know which pages come first in a book and are able to read from left to right
  • Able to rhyme easy words (ex: hat and bat)
  • Make most letter sound/matches
Want to assess your child in letter recognition? Click the link below:

Number/Shape/ Color Recognition

  • Number/shape/color recognition is the ability to identify basic numbers, shapes, and colors. Your child should be able to:
  • Count to ten or more and identify numbers 1-10 in any order
  • Identify basic shapes (triangle, square, rectangle, circle, square, oval, star, and heart)
  • Arrange and group different objects
  • Know basic colors (red, blue, green, black, white, orange, yellow, pink, and purple) yellow

Fine Motor and Physical Skills

Fine motor skills are the ability to move and control small muscle movements of the hands, fingers, face, mouth, and feet. Physical skills refer to large body movements. Your child should be able to:

  • Hold a pencil, crayon, or marker correctly 
  • Hold scissors correctly 
  • Bounce, throw, and catch balls during outdoor playtime
  • Run, climb, and jump comfortably

Want to assess your child in fine motor skills? Click the link below:

 Social Skills and Abilities 

Social Skills are the ability to interact with other people verbally and non-verbally. This is done through body language, gestures, and personal appearance. Your child should be able to:

  • Use the restroom by themselves
  • Sit for a short story (around 5-10 minutes)
  • Listen and follow directions (up to 2-3 steps)
  • Share with other students
  • Clean up after themselves
  • Solve problems without using anger and aggression


Click the links below to see an outlined model curriculum for kindergarten (note this outline is for the state of New Jersey. State model curriculums will vary)


“Kindergarten Readiness Test.” NJ Kindergarten Readiness Test and Checklist, Harmony Pediatric Therapy. Web.

“What Every Child Should Know Before Entering Kindergarten.” Top 15 Things Every Child Should Know Before Entering Kindergarten, Orting School District. Web.

Topics: Reading, Education, Kindergarten, Enhanced Learning, Alphabet, Academic Standards

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