Getting Ready for Kindergarten-Skills to Master

Getting Ready for Kindergarten-Skills to Master


In the midst of the two really long post Getting Ready for Kindergarten-An Overview and Getting Ready for Kindergarten-Professionals weigh in on what a Kindergartner should know.  I thought it would be helpful to have a simple list of skills a child  needs. Simple here is italicized because if you know me-nothing I do can be quite simple, so rather I present you with a detailed list of skills, organized by content area, collected from the Arizona State Standards.

Don’t be alarmed as you read through you will began to notice your child is probably already doing many of these things, and keep in mind, I did not list all of the items this is just a snap shot of the items listed in the Arizona State Standards.

Social Emotional:

  1. Shows an awareness of similarities and differences between self and others. Says, “I am bigger than you.”
  2. Associates emotions with words, facial expressions and body language. Describes the emotions of a character in a book.
  3. Manages transitions, daily routines and unexpected events. Moves to the next activity independently.
  4. Separates from familiar adult with minimal distress. Continues to paint after acknowledging a family member’s arrival, or cries briefly or doesn’t cry when dropped off at school or child care provider’s home.
  5. Demonstrates positive ways to resolve conflict. Asks for a turn when they want a toy another child is playing with.
  6. Respects the rights and property of others. Walks around a block structure built by another child.

Language and Literacy:

  1. Actively engages in finger-plays, rhymes, chants, poems, conversations, and stories. Claps when prompted with, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.”
  2. Speaks clearly and understandably to express ideas, feelings and needs. Combines words into simple sentences – “Is it time to go home?” Or “More milk please.”
  3. With modeling and support, uses acceptable language and social rules including appropriate tone, volume and inflection to
    express ideas, feelings, and needs. With reminder, child uses inside voice when going into the classroom.
  4. With modeling and support, uses age-appropriate vocabulary across many topic areas and demonstrates a wide variety
    of words and their meanings with each area; e.g., world knowledge, names of body parts, feelings, colors, shapes,
    jobs, plants, animals and their habitats, and foods; words that describe: adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. Says, “Let me listen to your heart with a stethoscope.” while in dramatic play.
  5. Recognizes own written name and the written names of friends and family. Reads job chart naming his classmates.
  6. Understands a book has a title, author and/or illustrator. Makes a book and says, “My book is called My Mom and I’m the author.”
  7. With modeling and support, produces rhyming words. Child whose name is Joy, while playing, spontaneously says, “Joy, noy, boy, loy, toy.”
  8. With modeling and support, identifies and discriminates syllables in words. Claps each syllable of a name during a name game or name song. (Ben-ja-min = clap, clap, clap)
  9. Uses letter-sound knowledge identifying the sounds of a few letters and producing the correct sounds for as many as 10 letters, with modeling and support. While writing the child’s name, Taylor makes the “t” sound and then prints the letter.
  10. With prompting and support, identifies characters and major events in a story. Provides details about the characters and actions after listening to a story.
  11. With prompting and support, identifies events and details in the story and makes predictions. Predicts what happens next in a story.
  12. With modeling and support, retells or reenacts a story in sequence with pictures or props. Uses felt board to retell story of The Hungry Caterpillar.
  13. Uses a variety of writing tools, materials, and surfaces to create drawings or symbols. Draws or writes using pencils, letter stamps, markers, crayons, paint, and/or shaving cream on paper, cardboard, chalkboard, and/or dry erase board.
  14. With prompting and support, forms letters starting with large motor (sky writing, paint brush and water, sidewalk
    chalk) progressing to fine motor (paper and pencil). Writes letter-like forms on a page and says, “This is a note for my mommy.”


  1.  Counts out loud to 10. Sings counting songs.
  2. Identifies numerals one to 10. Names some numerals while child is reading a book.
  3. Counts a collection of up to 10 items using the last counting word to tell, “How many?” Counts out six eggs. When adult asks, “How many?” the child responds, “six.”
  4. Compares two sets of objects using terms such as more, fewer, or the same. Looks at friend’s blocks and says, “I have more blocks than you.”
  5. Demonstrates an understanding that adding increases the number of objects in a group. Adds one block to her pile of blocks and says, “Now I have more.”
  6. Demonstrates an understanding that taking away decreases the number of objects in a group. Participates in stories and rhymes involving subtraction; e.g., Five Little Monkeys.
  7. Recognizes patterns in the real world. Follows and remembers movements in familiar songs and rhymes.
  8. Creates simple patterns. Builds a road alternating long and short unit blocks.
  9. Sorts and classifies objects by one or more attributes (e.g., size, color, shape, texture, use). Picks all the books about bugs out of the library.
  10. Asks questions to gather information. Surveys the classroom asking, “Do you like chocolate milk or white milk?”
  11. Uses descriptive language to compare data in picture graphs or other concrete representations. Looks at picture graph of selected fruit and says, “A lot of kids like bananas.”
  12. Compares objects and uses terms such as longer-shorter, hotter-colder, and faster-slower. Says, “My car is going faster than yours.”
  13. Uses appropriate vocabulary to describe time and sequence related to daily routines. Says, “After snack, we go outside.”
  14. Describes the position or location of objects in relation to self or to other objects. Plays with a car on a road constructed out of blocks and says, “The car is on the road.”


  1. Identifies attributes of objects, living things, and natural events in the environment. Notices bean seeds planted in clear bags have sprouted into plants with roots and a stem. Moves in the sunlight and realizes that her own shadow moves when she moves.
  2. Begins to describe the similarities, differences and relationships between objects, living things and natural events. Places a picture of a baby chick with a hen. Says, “Your rock is smooth and mine is rough.”
  3. Makes predictions and checks them through hands-on investigation with adult support. Predicts that the rock will sink when placed in water.
  4. Adjusts the experiment if results are different than expected and continues testing. Continues to mix different colors of paint to try to make purple.
  5. Identifies cause and effect relationships. Says, “It fell because I let go of the string” while using a pulley to hoist a bucket.
  6. Constructs explanation about investigations. Says, “Your plant died because you didn’t water it.”
  7. Displays and interprets data. Places all floating materials on one tray and all sinking items on another tray during a sink/float activity.
  8. Conducts further investigation based on prior experience and information gained. Says, “Next time I want to see what happens if I water the plant every day.”

Social Studies: 

  1. Identifies family members; e.g., mother, father, sister, brother, grandparents, cousins, etc. Draws a picture of her family.
  2. Identifies similarities and differences in their family composition and the families of others. Participates in a chart-making activity showing the number of siblings in each family.
  3. Shows knowledge of family members’ roles and responsibilities in the home. Says, “My big brother cleans up the kitchen after we eat.”
  4. Recognizes that places where people live are made up of individuals from different cultures and who speak
    different languages. Says, “Your uncle speaks Navajo.”
  5. Describes some characteristics (e.g., clothing, food, jobs) of the people in their community.Talks about the firefighter they met at their neighborhood fire station.
  6. Shows an understanding of how to care for the environment. Picks up trash outside and puts paper in the recycling container.
  7. Describes the purpose of rules. Reminds a classmate to use “walking feet” while in the classroom so he won’t be hurt.
  8. Describes some physical features of the environment in which the child lives; e.g., bodies of water, mountains,
    weather. Says, “There are a lot of mountains where I live.”
  9. Demonstrates an understanding of time in the context of daily experiences. Tells her mom that her friend was sick yesterday and not at school.
  10. Understands that events happened in the past and how these events relate to one’s self, family and community. Describes a family snow trip while reading The Snowy Day.

Gross & Fine Motor Development: 

  1. Moves with control (e.g., walks, runs, skips, jumps, gallops, hops). Runs during a game of tag, slowing and accelerating as needed to maneuver around equipment and people.
  2. Moves with coordination. Kicks, throws and catches a ball.
  3. Uses fingers, hands, and wrists to manipulate a variety of tools and materials, (e.g., crayons, markers, chalk,
    sponges, paint brushes, scissors, pencils, silverware). Tears paper into pieces to make a collage.
  4. Uses fine motor skills in daily living. Buttons, unbuttons, snaps, buckles, laces or ties shoe.

In the next post I will share my tips for an Easy Transition to Kindergarten and later my Top 5 things needed for Kindergarten as well as great resources.