kindergarten readiness skills

Kindergarten Readiness Skills

There are many skills a child should have before walking through the door to their first day of school. The good news is that most of these are acquired through a natural learning process! Through playing with others and interacting with their environment, your child is paving their own way to Kindergarten success.

Below is a comprehensive breakdown of the skills your child will need for Kindergarten.

Your child should have personal and social skills

This means that through interacting with others and regulating her own behaviour in different environments, your child demonstrates personal and social maturity. You can see this through your child’s pleasant and cooperative nature when in a new learning environment or with a new adult; through her follow-through with task completion even when there’s a problem; through her ability to follow rules and routines, manage transitions and take turns; and through her ability to participate in group activities with ease.

Your child is also able to navigate interpersonal conflicts through the help of an adult or with simple phrases. All of these things will help your child when they get to Kindergarten, where they will share time and materials and space with many other kids they have possibly met for the first time.

Your child should have language and literacy skills

That means that in conversation, listening to stories, and self-expression tasks such as drawing and writing, your child has a level of literacy and language development which can be used during simple tasks. She should be able to listen to, understand and respond to simple directions and conversations. She is able to speak clearly, and can relate experiences in a sequence.

Your child should be interested in stories and story-related tasks, and should be able to remember and retell events in a story. Your child should be able to use pictures to express thoughts, ideas and wishes, and to identify all the upper and lower case letters in the alphabet and start to use some of them.

Your child should be able to utilize mathematical and logical thinking in simple ways

She should be able to identify and sort colours, shapes, and sizes, and to be able to begin making patterns with them. She should be able to count to 20, and identify the numerals 0-10 and understand their relationship to counted objects. Your child should be able to identify spatial and directional concepts such as on/in, right/left, and use comparative words such as big/small, empty/full.

Your child should be developing their physical skills well

Becoming physically developed at a 5-year-old level means an increased sophistication of big muscle (legs/arms) and small muscle (hand/fingers) movements and use.  This means that your child should be able to jump, balance on one foot, hop on one foot, pedal a tricycle, throw and catch a ball, climb a ladder, and skip.  Your child should also be able to stack blocks, string beads, complete a simple puzzle, hold a pencil, use scissors to cut simple shapes and lines, use a glue stick, and print their first name.

Your child should express themselves using artistic medium

She should identify all 10 colours, and use a variety of materials to create art. She should also participate in group music-making and dance/movement.  She should use dramatic play and pretend roles.


Many of the above skills are not recognized at home, but are easily identified by a teacher or other childcare provider. If you would like some added support for your child, please ask about our successful Butterfly program. Our qualified teachers would love to help your children towards Kindergarten Readiness.

Related Article – What is Kindergarten Readiness

Additional Resource – How to teach your kid to self-regulate