Patty's Pointers

“Kindergarten – Ready? Here I come!  

Or not?”


As a former kindergarten and current preschool teacher, I am often asked by parents, “How do I know if my child is ready for kindergarten?” While there are age requirements, there are many other developmental areas to ponder.  Keep in mind that this is not an all-inclusive list of requirements, just areas of consideration to help prepare your child for success in kindergarten. A child should know or be able to do most of the following upon entrance to kindergarten.

Fine Motor Skills

  • Hold scissors correctly and cut with some accuracy
  • Hold crayon/pencil with correct tripod grip
  • Zip and button own clothing
  • Form a pancake, snake, and ball from play-doh
  • Independently put together a 10-12 piece puzzle

Gross Motor Skills

  • Run, jump, skip, walk backwards
  • Walk up and down stairs alternating feet
  • Bounce a ball
  • Stand on one foot for 5-10 seconds
  • Climb on playground equipment

Social Skills

  • Keep hands and feet to self
  • Engage in play with other children
  • Refrain from using “baby talk” and use complete sentences when speaking
  • Follow simple directions
  • Wait turn / share
  • Say “please” and “thank you”
  • Ask and answer simple questions
  • Can sit and listen for ~10 minutes

Pre-Academic Skills

  • Recognize basic shapes and colors
  • Counts 1-20
  • Identify numbers 0-10
  • Recognize and write name with only one uppercase letter
  • Say the alphabet and recognize many letters in random order
  • Recite nursery rhymes
  • Know difference between letters and numbers
  • Sort objects by size and color
  • Identify basic body parts
  • Know full name and age, telephone number, parents names

Even if kindergarten is a year or two away, it is a good idea to think ahead and provide play and activities along the way to ensure your child is ready in these areas when the time comes!


Patty Emmert- I am a former Kindergarten teacher, current preschool teacher and children’s ministry director. I am the mother of 4 grown sons and grandmother to 10! I realize the importance of getting kids started off on a positive track in school. I'd like to offer some fun, simple ways to help you do that for your child!