Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten

Preparing your child for kindergarten is a must. Whether you send your little one to a preschool or you teach them yourself, your child will benefit from an early childhood education. As a kindergarten teacher, I see the difference between the children who attended preschool and those who did not. While I am for keeping children at home as long as possible, parents need to make sure they prepare their children for kindergarten.

Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten

Back when I was a little girl getting ready to attend kindergarten, my mom worked with me to make sure I could write my name, knew our address and phone number, knew my letters, numbers, and colors. Knowing how to tie my shoes was a requirement for entering kindergarten. What has happened to parents not teaching their own children how to tie their shoes?

20 Things Your Child Should Know Before Entering Kindergarten

First and Last Name - Your child should be able to say their first and last name. There are times when a last name is called by another teacher, children should know their last name.

Writing First and Last Name  - Teach your child to use the capital letter for the first letter and lowercase letters for the rest.

Address and Phone Number – these are two important things your child should know if they get separated from you. Teach them using a tune helps children to learn their address and phone number.

Letters - saying the ABC’s is one thing, but sight recognition is another. Your little one should be able to recognize letters in random order along with their sounds.

Beginning Sounds of Words – children should be able to pick out the beginning sound of a word when they hear it.

Numbers - sight recognition for at least 1-10 in random order. If your child can learn more, teach them.

Count to at least 30 - Use a calendar to teach your child to count to 30.

Basic colors – black, brown, blue, green, red, pink, yellow, orange, purple, and white

Basic shapes – square, circle, triangle, rectangle, star, heart, oval, rhombus (diamond), and hexagon

3 Finger Grasp - correctly holding pencils and crayons will help your little one to feel confident with others at their table.

Correct way to hold scissors – using a pair of scissors takes practice. If the child knows how to hold a pair of scissors practicing cutting will be easier for them.

Clean up after themselves – children should know how to clean up after playing with things. They should also know how to pack up a lunch box and carry their trash to the trash can.

Rhyme words – children should know how to make words rhyme, even if they use “made up” words. man = fan = can

Handle books – children should know how to hold a book upright, turn pages, and take care of books.

Sitting Still – children will be required to sit still during class time without wandering around. Practice sitting still for 2-3 minutes at a time until your child can sit for about 15 minutes.

Listening Skills – listening to the teacher is required of your child in kindergarten. Teach them how to listen without disrupting or butting in.

Put on and Take off Sweater and Coat – children should be able to remove and put on these outer articles of clothing without help.

Manage Bathroom Needs – for the safety of your child and those working with him, he needs to handle his bathroom needs on his own.

Uses words to resolve conflicts – children should be able to express themselves with words rather than screaming and throwing things.

Follows Rules and Routines – classrooms are on a schedule and they follow routines throughout the day. Children should be able to follow along with the others.


Tie Their Own Shoes – don’t leave this one little teaching experience with another person. Teach your little one to tie their shoes, or buy them Velcro or zipper shoes. If your child can tie their own shoe, they will have something to show all of their friends who will want to learn how also.

Talking as a mom here... you know your child. You know their maturity level and you know if they will be able to handle kindergarten. Use your time preparing your little one, but don't pressure them into doing more than they really need. Consider calling the school your child will be attending and talk with a kindergarten teacher about what is required for your state or that school. Enjoy your time with your child while they are still little, but don't neglect preparing them for their future.

Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten