It’s an exciting and sometimes emotional time as we prepare for our little ones to take their first steps into the world of kindergarten. What do they need to know? How can we best help them prepare? Today we hope to answer these questions with a kindergarten checklist of skills they need to get ready for this new stage of life.

Every child is different and every kindergarten is different, so only you know what is best for your child, but this checklist focuses on things that will be useful, manageable and above all, fun!


Here are the top 5 kindergarten checklist of skills for your children to know before they go:


Shoe laces

Even if they are tied nice and tightly at the start of the day, shoe laces have a habit of becoming loose as the children run around and play. The laces then drag along and of course they could easily cause a trip or fall. Knowing how to tie their shoes if they have laces can really help children’s feeling of independence and confidence. If your kids aren’t quite sure how to tie laces yet, shoes with Velcro are always a good option for kindergarten. Basic skills such as taking shoes on and off also helps to develop those motor neurons to make more complex movements easier.


Pencil & scissors

Knowing how to hold a pencil and a pair of scissors as they go into kindergarten not only helps them with their activities, it also helps to build their stamina in their hand muscles by holding the pencil in the correct way. Show them how to pinch the pencil with the thumb and index finger with the pencil resting on their middle finger. Opening and closing scissors also works those hand muscles a lot, so if the kids are not used to holding pencils and scissors for more than a few minutes, it can make their hands sore. Practice drawing lines and shapes holding the pencil correctly, then cutting along the lines they drew. These kindergarten basic skills make them more prepared and strengthens their hand and arm muscles.


Identifying their name

Identifying what their name looks like is a super useful skill to have as early as possible. Kindergarten teachers tend to label everything from coat hooks, to pencil boxes, and more, so if the child can’t identify what their names look  like, it can be difficult for them to find their way around. By knowing which letters are in their name, that will help a lot. Practice writing their name and label a few of your child’s items around the house with their name on them. The more they are exposed to their name, the more they can retain the information and remember the order of the letters. Practicing with magnetic alphabets is another fun way to play and spell out their name.


Sitting down time

Sometimes it can be difficult for kids to sit still for more than a few minutes at a time, whether it is for drawing, reading, or at the table activities. If your child hasn’t been exposed before to any form of daycare before, they might not have that experience of sitting down to focus. Practicing with your children how to sit at a table and on a carpet for at least 15 mins can really help them to be more successful in the classroom and helps them concentrate better. If you have a little table at home, practice coloring, playdough or puzzles. Just sitting doing an activity for a set amount of time is enough to give them new skills for kindergarten and beyond.


Colors, shapes, sounds, numbers and letters

Exposing your kids to letters, shapes, colors, sounds, and numbers are kindergarten basic skills that can help them settle in quicker. The level of knowledge varies from child to child, and this is perfectly normal. Whichever stage your child is at, exposing them more to different shapes, colors, sounds and numbers will really help as they go into kindergarten. Activities such as bedtime stories, color guessing games, or even educational programs like Sesame Street can be great for this. When we say expose the kids to these things, the main thing is keeping it fun.


This kindergarten checklist of skills will help your little ones to navigate the new environment and contribute towards their early development. As a parent, they are great ways of supporting them as much as you can at this exciting milestone as they move into kindergarten.