Kindergarten Readiness Checklist – Skills Your Child Should Have When Starting School

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Rosie starts Kindergarten a week from tomorrow!

…deep breath, breathe mommy, breathe…

Rosie is going to a charter school which is a nature-based, with a strong emphasis on the outdoors.  Because of the place-based curriculum and field work they do in the community, they have a longer school day than the traditional public school.  In our state, full day kindergarten is optional, but for this charter school not only is full day kindergarten mandatory, it is an hour longer.

…deep breath, breathe mommy, breathe…

I’m a stay-at-home mom and Rosie is my only child, so it’s going to be a huge change for both of us.  We are “laid back” – we’ve spent the summer sleeping late, staying in pajamas and swim suits all day.  We only had one outside activity, dancing, and missed more than half the sessions.  Starting tomorrow, we’re going to “practice” getting up for school and having a schedule again.

…deep breath, breathe mommy, breathe…

Rosie’s school gave us a couple pamphlet’s on kindergarten readiness and to be honest, I took them out at the beginning of the summer and then put them away again *shame on me!*.  Now with a week to go, I’m pulling them out *blush* with my fingers crossed.

Do you have a kindergarten beginner?  Are your kids ready to start school?

This is an excerpt from the Kindergarten Readiness Checklist:

Personal/Social and Self-Help Skills

  • Uses words instead of being physical when angry
  • Plays cooperatively with peers.  Takes turns, shares, and resolves problems
  • Respects the feelings, rights, and belongings of others.  Says “please” and “thank you”
  • Uses words to express feelings, “I’m angry” or “I’m happy”
  • Takes care of toilet needs by himself/herself
  • Uses good personal habits – eating, covers nose and mouth to sneeze, washes hands
  • Remembers simple instructions and carries out 2 or 3 consecutive tasks.
  • Can put on or take off outer clothing – coat, boots, shoes
  • Can spend extended periods of time away from parents/guardians

Reading and Literacy

  • Holds book correctly, right side up and turns the pages one at a time from front to back
  • Knows movement of reading is from left to right and top to bottom of the page
  • Pretends to read
  • Creates or retells stories
  • After listening to a story, can tell what might happen next
  • Looks at pictures and can tell a story about what is happening
  • Enjoys having books read to them

Personal Information

  • Knows their full name
  • Knows how old they are
  • Knows their address and telephone number
  • Knows their mother’s, father’s or guardian’s first names

Movement and Motor Skills

  • Holds scissors, pencils, and crayons correctly
  • Uses silverware correctly
  • Runs, jumps, skips, hops, throws, kicks, and bounces a ball
  • Walks up and down stairs
  • Walks in a straight line
  • Walks backwards

Numbers, Patterns, Shapes, and Colors

  • Counts from 1 to 10 and recognizes the numbers
  • Counts 5 objects by pointing to them
  • Recognizes six shapes:  Circle, square, rectangle, triangle, oval and star and can draw them
  • Can sort items by color, shape and size
  • Points at objects on a page and counts them left to right and top to bottom
  • Puts puzzles together
  • Identifies 10 basic colors:  blue, green, red, pink, yellow, orange, purple, brown, black and white

Letters and Words

  • Recognizes and names at least 15 letters of the alphabet, especially their own name
  • Is able to hear and identify rhyming words
  • Can repeat words in a sentence
  • Can write the letters in their name
  • Can identify top and bottom, in and out, under and over

Well, going through this list… Rosie is ready.  Now to go look for a “Mom’s Kindergarten Readiness List” – because I know I’m NOT ready *wink*.

This post was inspired by my friend, A Frugal Friend.


  1. 1

    Since you are a year ahead of me, I totally expect that Mom’s Kindergarten Readiness by the time mine goes to Kindergarten, K? :-)

  2. 2

    I know just how you feel. My daughter is entering kindergarten this fall. She is so ready, and I am so not ready!
    Jeryl M. recently posted..Collections

  3. 3

    My daughter has a late birthday and has to wait until next year even though she is ready this year, so I’m hoping I can keep her entertained while homeschooling for preschool without teaching her TOO much.. because she will be bored in kindergarten like my other two were if I am not careful. :( Thanks for this post, it’s a great way to make sure she is really on track. Those kindergarten work books I buy at Wal-Mart and the book store are all easy peasy letters and numbers and that’s it.
    Sadie recently posted..Deal of the Day 8/15

  4. 4

    I’m so excited and nervous for my little man to go to Kinder…TODAY actually. In less than an hour! Geesh! Thanks for this great list though!
    Amber recently posted..Review: Scentsy Plug-in Warmer + Giveaway

  5. 5

    I think all my kids were over prepared.3 home schooled kindergarten and 3 not. The hardest thing about the school ones, half a day class was not enough. They were bored once they got home. My homeschool ones didn’t want to stop so they burnt out.

    Finding balance for your child isn’t always easy either. Yet another day in the life of a parent.

  6. 6

    My big boy starts on Kindergarten on Monday. He is ready except for our names…He still insists we are Mommy and Daddy- LOL. We have orientation Thursday night! We can all cry together.
    Sonya – Belly Charms recently posted..Riding the Carousel of a WAHM

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