Readiness Checklist


 Kindergarten-readiness does not just happen. While learning comes naturally, young children do not automatically acquire all the knowledge and skills they need for a positive kindergarten experience. The readiness to learn that each child brings into the kindergarten classroom comes directly from the experiences she or he has had-or has not had-in the years before.

Below you will find a checklist of the basic knowledge and skills that all young children need for a strong start in kindergarten and elementary.

Work Habits

  • Listen attentively to a book being read aloud to a group of children for at least 10 minutes
  • Complete an age-appropriate activity during a sustained period of time, at least 15 minutes, with minimal supervision
  • Follow multi-step directions

Social and Emotional Development

  • Care for personal needs, such as using the bathroom independently, dressing oneself, using appropriate table manners, etc.
  • Recognize and greet familiar people by name
  • Follow rules established for specific settings (public spaces like a bookstore or grocery store, for example)
  • Follow the rules of simple games
  • Play cooperatively with other children, taking turns and sharing toys as necessary


  • Give and respond to full name
  • Clearly communicate needs, desires, and feelings
  • Speak in sentences that are, for the most part, grammatically correct
  • Carry on a simple conversation with an adult, taking turns, staying on topic, contributing to the conversation by answering and asking questions, etc.
  • Sequentially describe a personal experience
  • Ask and answer questions
  • Understand and use words pertaining to position in space, such as “under/over,” “in/on,” “up/down,” etc.
  • Understand and use words pertaining to time, such as names of the days of the week, “morning/afternoon/evening,” “today/tomorrow/yesterday,” etc.


  • Recite familiar nursery rhymes from memory
  • Identify rhyming words in familiar nursery rhymes
  • Give the beginning sound heard in spoken word
  • Answer questions about what is happening in a book that is being read aloud
  • Retell a familiar story in child’s own words
  • Pretend to read a book, pointing out the words on a page, where to start reading and in what direction, turning the pages correctly, etc.
  • Give the sounds of the letters in his or her first name
  • Draw and copy simple lines and marks
  • Write first name, even if some mistakes are present
  • Cut straight lines with scissors
  • Dictate thoughts and ideas to an adult.


  • Identify whether objects are the same or different
  • Complete puzzles with 8-15 pieces
  • Rote-count from 1=10
  • Count up to 6 objects correctly
  • Compare groups of objects, using words like “more,” “less,” “equal,” and “the same.”
  • Compare the size of objects, using words like “large/small,” “long/short,” “thick/thin,” etc.
  • Categorize objects according to a single characteristic, such as color, shape, or size.
  • Continue a pattern of objects
  • Identify some numerals.

General Knowledge

Recognize and name:

  • parts of the body
  • colors and shapes
  • household items
  • food and clothing
  • animals and their habitats, such as farm, ocean, jungle, desert