What Skills are Needed for Kindergarten

What skills does my child need for kindergarten? This is a HUGE topic for parents of preschoolers. We all want our kids to be setup for success.

Kindergarten readiness is mostly about social skills, I know that is probably not what you are looking for, but it is important that I emphasize this.

I have broken down the social skills that your child needs before they can start kindergarten in order to be successful into 5 detailed posts.

Five social skills for kindergarten

With that said, I know you came to this blog post looking for a kindergarten readiness skills checklist full of academic skills. And while I want to make sure that I drive home the point that social skills are far more valuable than academic skills in preschool, I also want to answer your question.

If you’re doing activities with your preschooler at home to keep them busy, entertained, and help prepare them for the challenges that will come when kindergarten starts these are the skills that I would focus on in early childhood .

Literacy Skills for Early Childhood

• letter recognition
• rhyming
• letter sound recognition
• concepts about print ” the awareness of ‘how print works’. This includes the knowledge of the concept of what books, print, and written language are, and how they function.” (Victoria State Government)
• how to write and spell their name

When learning about letters, it doesn’t need to be flashcards or worksheets, in fact I discourage that. Instead these skill can be learned by identifying the letters on the sign at Target, fun activities at home, or making silly rhyming words and playing with phonemic awareness .

Engage your child in phonemic awareness activities

Math Skills for Kindergarten

1. Basic Shapes – square, circle, rectangle, triangle, heart, star, oval, crescent, octagon
2. PatternsPatterns are essential for math, literacy, and science. If had to pick one thing to teach, it would be patterns.
3. Sorting
4. Matching
5. Numbers 1-10
• identify – recognize the written numeral
• count to 10 – rote counting from 1 to 10 in order by ones
• quantify – understand the value of a number
• subitize – identify a small quantity quickly without counting

Other Skills for Kindergarten

1. Cutting – There is a lot to cut in kindergarten, students who know how to cut can focus on the content vs. spending all their energy cutting a worksheet
2. Gluing – 12-20 five year olds + liquid glue = teachers who are saints. Help your child’s teacher out and practice “just a dot, not a lot” when making projects at home.
3. Tying Shoes – Lots of kindergarten teachers have a shoe tying club for kids who can tie shoes and help their friends. Just like the whole glue situation, imagine 12+ kids on the playground at recess who all need help tying their shoes. The entire break would be spent doing just that.
4. Putting on / zipping jackets and pants
5. Fine Motor Skills – allows our students to be able to write in the classroom. It also has a huge number of benefits for independent life skills. Learn more about fine motor skills.

I know I’ve already said it but I would not be doing my job if I didn’t say it again. When it comes to the skills needed for kindergarten, social skills are a priority over academics.

Allowing our children time to play and be a child is a gift that we can only give to them once. Because once school starts that push for academics will always be there.

So, if you’re looking for what skills you should practice when doing an activity so that you can add a little structure to your day, the list I gave you above is a great starting point. But there is no need to master the academics in preschool, that is what kindergarten is for. We just want to give our kids that sense of confidence.

And remember, if you’re using this list as a way to keep up with the Joneses, I can promise you, that is a race you don’t want to be in and time is on your side.

I’ll leave you with this bit of research,

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