Beginning Kindergarten Skills

Ready, Set, Go

Following are 105 desirable readiness skills that will help children get off to a good start when they begin school:


  • Understands big and little
  • Understands long and short
  • Matches shapes or objects based on size
  • Recognizes and names primary colors
  • Recognizes circles
  • Recognizes rectangles
  • Copies shapes


  • Counts orally through 10
  • Counts objects in one-to-one correspondence
  • Understands empty and full
  • Understands more and less

Reading Readiness

  • Remembers objects from a given picture
  • Knows what a letter is
  • Has been read to frequently
  • Looks at books or magazines
  • Recognizes some nursery rhymes
  • Identifies parts of the body
  • Identifies objects that have a functional use
  • Knows common farm and zoo animals
  • Pronounces own first name
  • Expresses self verbally
  • Identifies other children by name
  • Tells the meaning of simple words
  • Repeats a sentence of 6-8 words
  • Completes incomplete sentence with proper word
  • Has own books
  • Understands that print carries a message
  • Pretends to read
  • Uses left-to-right progression
  • Answers questions about a short story
  • Tells the meaning of words heard in story
  • Looks at pictures and tells a story
  • Identifies own first name in manuscript
  • Prints own first name

Position and Direction

  • Understands up and down
  • Understands in and out
  • Understands front and back
  • Understand over (on) and under
  • Understands top, bottom, middle
  • Understands beside and next to
  • Understands hot and cold
  • Understands fast and slow


  • Understands day and night
  • Knows age and birthday

Listening and Sequencing

  • Follows simple directions
  • Listens to a short story
  • Listens carefully
  • Recognizes common sounds
  • Repeats a sequence of sounds
  • Repeats a sequence of orally-given numbers
  • Retells simple stories in sequence

Motor Skills

  • Is able to run
  • Is able to walk a straight line
  • Is able to jump
  • Is able to hop
  • Is able to alternate feet walking down stairs
  • Is able to march
  • Is able to stand on one foot 5-10 seconds
  • Is able to walk backwards for five feet
  • Is able to throw a ball
  • Pastes objects
  • Claps hands
  • Matches simple objects
  • Touches fingers
  • Able to button
  • Builds with blocks
  • Completes simple puzzles (5 pieces or less)
  • Draws and colors beyond a simple scribble
  • Able to zip
  • Controls pencil and crayon well
  • Cuts simple shapes
  • Handles scissors well
  • Able to copy simple shapes

Social-Emotional Development

  • Can be away from parents for 2-3 hours without being upset
  • Takes care of toilet needs independently
  • Feels good about self
  • Is not afraid to go to school
  • Cares for own belongings
  • Knows full name
  • Dresses self
  • Knows how to use a handkerchief or tissue
  • Knows own sex
  • Brushes teeth
  • Crosses a residential street safely
  • Asks to go to school
  • Knows parents’ names
  • Knows home address
  • Knows home phone number
  • Enters into dinner table conversation
  • Carries a plate of food
  • Maintains self-control
  • Gets along well with other children
  • Plays with other children
  • Recognizes authority
  • Shares with others
  • Talks easily
  • Likes teachers
  • Meets visitors without shyness
  • Puts away toys
  • Able to stay on a task
  • Able to work independently
  • Helps family with chores
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