Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

So, your child is old enough for kindergarten….but are they ready? This is a big transition for you and your child, and there is more to being ready for kindergarten than simply chronological age. Additionally, it is also not simply having them be able to recite letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. Knowing your child is ready for kindergarten is a combination of many things. To help you understand what skills your child should have to help them be successful going into kindergarten, I have broken down a generalized checklist to help you decide if your child is ready for this transition.

Social and Emotional Skills


  • Initiates interactions with others
  • Begins to share with others
  • Starts to follow rules
  • Can play with, not just next to, other children
  • Is able to recognize authority
  • Accepts transitions
  • Copes with frustration
  • Is able to follow daily routines
  • Listens while others are speaking
  • Respects the personal space of others
  • Is able to separate from parents without being upset
  • Exhibits self-awareness (e.g., refers to him/herself by first and last name, is able to describe him/herself using basic characteristics
    [hair color, eye color, gender, age, etc.])
  • Expresses their feelings through appropriate actions, gestures, and language
  • Expresses their own ideas and opinions
  • Adapts to different environments (i.e., adjusts their behavior and follows rules in different settings [home, school, playground, library, etc.])
  • Begins to accept the consequences of their actions (e.g., admit their wrongdoings, bring an object to a parent or teacher after breaking it, etc.)

Gross Motor Skills

Gross Motor Skills


  • walk, run, hop, or skip for long sequences
  • walk up and down stairs reciprocally
  • throw a ball and hit a target
  • catch a ball
  • climb on playground equipment
  • bat at a ball or a balloon with their hands or equipment

Fine Motor Skills

  • Uses their hands and fingers with purpose and control (e.g., squeezing clothespins, opening a tube of toothpaste, squeezing a glue bottle, snapping buttons on clothing, stringing beads, building with small blocks, etc.)
  • Can manipulate tools (e.g., eating utensils, toothbrush, etc.)
  • Uses both hands to accomplish a task (e.g., holding paper in one Fine Motor Skillshand and cut with the other, stabilizing a cup with one hand while pouring with the other, etc.)
  • Is able to use in-hand manipulation (i.e., hold several small objects in the palm of the hand while moving individual pieces with index finger and thumb)
  • Holds scissors correctly and uses them safely
  • Holds a pencil, marker, or crayon correctly:






  • Is able to copy these shapes:

┃  ━    ◯   ╋    ╱    □    ╲    ╳   △

  • Is able to write some letters and numbers
  • May be able to write their own name

Communication SkillsCommunication Skills

  • Talks in their native language
  • Is understood when talking
  • Responds appropriately in conversation with adults and other children
  • Responds to questions
  • Uses complete sentences
  • Can ask for help

Cognitive Skills

  • Recognizes and tries to solve problemscognitive skills
  • Understands rules
  • Begins abstract problem solving
  • Follows 3-step directions
  • Orients a book in the correct position for reading
  • Identifies colors
  • Counts to 10
  • Counts objects to 20
  • Matches or groups objects by size, shape, or color
  • Recognizes and identifies letters and numbers
  • Says rhyming words
  • Recognizes their name
  • Knows their parents’ names
  • Can complete a simple puzzle

Self Care Skillself-cares

  • Dresses self
  • Washes hands with soap and water
  • Can use the bathroom independently
  • Covers their mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Blows their nose
  • Feeds self

How we can help at Play2Learn

Here at Play2Learn, we offer a variety of classes lead by our therapists to help your child with developing and strengthening skills necessary for a successful transition into kindergarten:

Fine Motor Fitness

This class is for children ages 3 to 4 years who have trouble with their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are the coordination of the muscles you use in your hands and fingers to create smaller and more precise movements. These skills help with holding and using a pencil, handling small objects such as buttons on a shirt, and the strength and coordination used for tasks such as zipping up a jacket. Our Fine Motor Fitness classes will help strengthen these skills to help your child succeed in kindergarten.

Social Skills

This class gives your preschooler the opportunity to interact with their peers while developing appropriate social skill necessary for kindergarten. Your child will be given opportunities to meet and greet other children, strengthen their turn-taking and sharing skills, and practice their skills in taking responsibility for their own actions while in an enriching and fun environment! Each week, our classes will expose your child to group activities such as obstacle courses, jumping on the trampoline, swinging, messy play, and constructing activities to exercise and strengthen your child’s abilities to participate in cooperative play. These classes use the Social Thinking Program.

Letter Fun

This class helps your child work on letter and number recognition in a fun way! These skills are necessary precursors to reading and writing in kindergarten. We will practice letter formation using exciting mediums such as Play-Doh, noodles, wooden pieces, sand, and more! We will also work on proper pencil grasp as well as formation of the upper-case alphabet and numbers 1 through 10. These classes use the Handwriting Without Tears Approach.

Kindergarten Readiness

This class is geared for children aged 4 to 5 and works on fine motor skills and motor coordination, which are essential for success in kindergarten. To prepare your child for handwriting, we will focus on pencil grasp as well as letter recognition, identification, and formation. Additionally, we will help strengthen your child’s scissor skills. Helping your child strengthen these skills will help them transition more smoothly into kindergarten work.


Parents are a child’s first teacher! Exposing these skills to your child in a fun way will grab their interest and help them enjoy learning. Reading to your child on a daily basis exposes them to a variety of words and shows them that reading is fun and also helps them understand social skills. Preparing your child for kindergarten mentally is equally as important. Developing routines, talking to your child about starting kindergarten, and reading them books about kindergarten may help this transition and even excite them about starting. Again, this is a generalized list, so if your child does not have some of these skills does NOT mean they are not ready for kindergarten.

If you have any questions or would like to sign up for any of our classes, please reach out to us! We look forward to hearing from you!


By | 2017-04-27T11:19:43+00:00 February 6th, 2017|News|