Helping adults prepare children for kindergarten and life.

Complete Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

Complete Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

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As promised in last weeks blog, here is an extensive list of kindergarten readiness skills that we compiled here at INYW?. We compiled this list by looking at different states kindergarten readiness entrance skills and other countries lists of skills for kindergarteners.  This is probably a more extensive list than your state's requirements. However, we thought it might he helpful to see different skills 5 year olds are expected to know before entering kindergarten. As always, if you have any questions, ideas or concerns, please feel free to contact us! 


1. Language, Literacy and Reading

Say/sing ABC ‘s and can point to correct letters
Looks at books and magazines with proper orientation (right side up) and turns   pages from front to back,  pretends to read
Understands concepts of a book - first page, last page, that printed letters make   up words that convey a message, looks at pictures to help with meaning
Knows that reading moves left to right and top to bottom
Can differentiate and point to words and pictures
Understand that grouped letters make up words
Recognizes punctuation makes a sentence
Speaks in 4 to 6 word conversational sentences, uses appropriate levels of   volume, tone, and inflection
Uses language to communicate thoughts, feelings, and needs; describe   experiences and observations, express opinions and ideas
Speaks clearly to be understood by unfamiliar adults
Participates in conversations and employs conversational techniques - taking   turns in speaking, listens actively, contributes ideas
Able to tell a simple narrative of a happening in their life - birthday party, what   they did this morning, an event they went to, etc.
Understands 4,000 to 5,000 words
Able to dictate a short story with some details to someone to write
Asks and answers questions
Recognizes first and last name in print
Orally says letters in his name
Pronounces their own first and last name
Can repeat a 3 step sound sequence - d,g,h - d,g h

Letter Naming
Show capital and lower case letters of all the alphabet letters - how many do they   recognize -  12 to 52 letters
Identify and name letters in child’s first name - can say the sound of letters in    name
Tell the difference between similar shaped letters - a/c/e/o/s;  b/d/g/p/q;  h/m/n/r/u; f/i/j/l/t; k/v/w/x/y/z
Able to write upper and lower case letters
Prints first and last name using upper and lower case letters

Phonemic Awareness
Can tell the sound of the letters in the alphabet
Recognize the beginning sound of a word
Repeats correctly sounds that are said
Can look at picture of simple objects and say initial sound (ball - b)
Repeats a sequence of numbers that are said (1 5 8)
Speaks in complete sentences (No - Cookie. Better -  Please, may I have a  cookie?
Completes a sentence with a proper word (The cat was sleeping on the ?)
Give parts of a one syllable word - let child put together:
            b/e/d   bed
              h/o/t     hot
Clap 3 syllable words (mem-o-ry)  (com-put-er)
Identifies rhyming sounds when heard - bad, sad, mad, run
combine words to make compound word
     base + ball = baseball
            combine syllables into words
      ba + by = baby
            Listening Comprehension
Can sit for a 20 minute reading time - Can answer questions like “What” or “How”   about  the readings.
Understands the overall sequence in a story
Able to repeat and say beginning of a story, middle of story, and end of story
Understands two step directions - Go to table and select red crayon
Recognizes rhymes and can identify words that rhyme
Read a short passage and ask 3 explicit questions (clear and obvious answer   that leaves no doubt as to what is meant, factual - who, what, where, and   when) and 3 implicit questions (child needs to draw conclusions and make   inferences, implied - why or how)  for child to answer
Predicts what could happen next in a new story

Vocabulary and Target Words
Write (scribble) words and messages in play situations
Understands concepts - above, back, because, behind, below, beside, big,  bottom, cold, day, down, empty, fast, few, first, front, full, high, hot, in, if, large,  last, less, little, long, low, many, medium, middle, more, next to, night, off, on,  over, out, short, slow, small,  tall, then,  top, under, up,
Uses comparison words like bigger, smaller, heaviest for comparison
Able to tell the meaning of simple words - house, car, etc.,
Is able to describe an object with three statements - It is red. It has 3 wheels. I sit  and ride. (tricycle)
Able to recognize things that go together from a group of objects - boat/water,  hat/coat, plate/glass, bathtub/towel, etc.
Recognizes some signs - Target, McDonalds, stop, exit, etc. 

Memorization Skills
Able to retell a story they heard
Remembers objects from a picture
Identifies sight words when shown - as, at, for, the, we
Can repeat up to an eight word sentence correctly
Remembers past information
Able to match two pictures that are alike
Can recite 5 to 10 short rhymes by memory  (Itsy, Bitsy, Spider, etc.)


2. Mathematics

Count in order to 20
Shows age by holding up correct number of fingers
States age and knows birthday
Can recognize, copy or make numerals 1 to 12
Recognizes the sequence of numbers 1 to 20 (one-to-one correspondence)
Matches quantity with numeral up to 12 - puts number cards 1 to 12 in order
Understands ordinal numbers - first, second, third
Can name 12 shapes - line, curve, circle, square, rectangle, triangle,   diamond(rhombus) oval (ellipse), pentagon, octagon, star, heart
Can match shapes to things (rectangle matched to shape of cracker)
Can sort items by color and shape
Recognizes 12 colors - red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, brown,   black, white, grey, pink, light blue
Can order items by size from large to small, tall to short, wide to narrow
Can recognize groups of objects up to 6
Understands greater than, less than, equal to
Adds or subtracts using objects
Can make a 2-step pattern - red,blue - red,blue - red,blue
Can sequence 3 pictures in order
Recognize coins as money - penny, nickel, dime

3.Social and Personal Skills

Is enthusiastic
Plays well with 2 or more peers and understands sharing, cooperating and  waiting for turns
Calls other children by their correct name
Participate in a group discussion - chatting around dinner table, in the car, etc.
Has a 5 minute attention span to finish a short task -sweep the kitchen, do a   puzzle, etc. Shows persistence at tasks
Respects authority and understands simple rules - safety, personal
Follows 3 step directions
Takes care of own bathroom needs
Dresses self (bottoms, top, coat, socks and shoes) - button, snap, zipper, buckle,  tie shoes, etc.
Helps put toys away
Cleans up after himself
Does simple chores - empty wastebasket, bring dishes to sink, set table, dust,  feed pets, etc.
Character Traits
  Express emotions and shows empathy and kindness to others
  Respects property and feelings of others
  Takes responsibility for belongings - mat, coat, lunch, school bag, etc.
  Uses words - please, thank you, sorry, excuse me
Uses words to express feelings - I am sad, happy, mad, etc.
Able to know names of days of week and months
Able to choose between 2 or 3 items (apple or pear; red or blue shirt; etc.)
Tells full name when asked
Knows phone number and address
Knows how to make an emergency call - 911
Knows parents first and last names
Knows own sex
Asks for help when needed - understands it is okay to make mistakes
Able to play or do a task independently
Shows self-control and solves problems with words not actions
Able to meet new people and easily talk with them 
Asks lots of questions and indicates a desire to learn
Shows a sense of curiosity and adventure
Knows the proper way to cross a street
Able to play simple board/card games - Go Fish, Candy Land, Memory, etc.
Able to be easily separated from parents for 2 or 3 hours

4. Science/Nature

Understands day and night and general times of time (morning, afternoon, night)
Understands environment - inside, outside, seasons, forests, farm, etc.
Respects nature - water, animals, plants, etc.
Recognizes some farm, forest, and zoo animals
Knows body parts and can explain how each part works (nose helps me to smell,  etc.) -ankle, arms, back, belly button, chest, chin, ears, elbow, eyes, feet, finger,  hair, hand, head, heel, hips, jaw, knees, legs, mouth, neck, nose, shoulder,  stomach, teeth, thumb, toes,tongue, waist, wrist, etc.
Understand 5 senses of taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing
Able to rank sounds from loudest to softest - distinguishes difference in pitch of  tones (high and low)
Comprehends changes - water, ice, steam, etc.

5. Social Studies

Understands that food, shelter and water are needed for humans and animals

6. Physical Development and Fitness

Able to put together 10 piece puzzle (20 is better)
Able to copy  shapes, numbers, letters in print
Imitates writing letters and numbers
Can trace around objects or basic shapes, make an X and a + sign
Able to hold scissors, open and close them (scissor position-thumb and middle  finger in the handles and index finger on outside to stabilize)
Hold paper and cut simple shapes with scissors - begin with cutting short strips  with tissue or newspaper
Able to control paper on a desk or table
Glue pictures on paper
Connects dots vertically and horizontally on paper
Manipulates small objects - blocks, legos, stickers, strings macaroni/beads,   etc.
Able to fold and clasp hands
Able to hold and control pencils and crayons
Makes own bed
Comfortable with using fork and spoon and eats independently
Able to touch fingers tip to tip - right hand to left hand
Rides a bike, jump rope, roller skate,
Walk a straight line forward and backward for 5 feet
Able to run, jump, hop, march, stand on one foot for 10 seconds (both right and  left separately), gallop, skip, swing and climb
Alternates feet walking up and down stairs
Walks a balance beam - 2 inches wide and slightly elevated (never higher than a  child’s waist)
Able to catch an object with both hands
Able to throw, catch and bounce a ball
Able to stop a physical movement on command (Simon Says)
7. Creative Arts

Can draw picture of himself including head, body, arms, and legs
Colors beyond scribbling
Able to use boxes, toys, paper, etc. for creative play
Pretends, creates and makes up stories, songs, and pictures
Dances to music and feels the rhythm
Able to sing familiar songs, finger plays and nursery rhymes

8. Health

Have an eye check up - make sure eyes are working correctly - field of vision,  that eyes work together, etc.
Know that immunizations are up to date and have a physical with doctor before  registering for kindergarten
Able to use a tissue
Able to carry a plate of food
Able to open bottles and pour from a pitcher
Brushes teeth, washes hands correctly
Is well rested, healthy, and well-nourished

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